Rafale Wins in India

France finally scored an international customer for its Rafale fighter jet. After years and years of fits, starts and frustrations, India’s medium multirole combat aircraft (MMRCA) contest ended this morning with a French victory.

Remember, MMRCA pitted the Rafale against everything from the Eurofighter Typhoon and Mig-29 to the American made F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and F-16.

Now that the Rafale has been declared winner, officials from Dassault and India will hammer out the price for the 129 fighter deal.

  • Black Owl

    Huh… Didn’t expect that to happen. I would have put money on the MiG-35 Fulcrum when this thing started. Looks like their going French…

  • Lance

    Sad day the Griphen and Typhoon and even the MiG-35 are better than the French plane. As well as better looking the Rafael is ugly!

  • Sanem

    couldn’t believe it, I would have expected for India to choose a more spread out, supported Typhoon deal

    but after the operational succes of the Mirage and France’s dependable political support, it seems they choose certainty

    congrats to Dassault, they certainly deserve it

  • mhmm…

    The Rafale is carrier based correct?
    Or is there a convential only version?
    Any chance they bought it in case they wanted an option to put it on a carrier, or at least the follow up for a navy purchase, commonality and streamlining training and all that?

  • Jack

    I’ve never understood what the Frogs have against installing a retractable fuel probe. The Rafale would look so much cooler without that permanent probe in it’s nose.

  • tiger

    Well, Congrats to Dassault. I guess those Ops over Libya sealed the deal? Anyway, The various Plane Fan clubs will now begin their posting.

  • Tad

    Anyone know if military considerations were a big/small part of this decision?

  • Len

    The Rafale with an AESA would be a very strong multirole fighter. Remember it’s already got a built in IRST similar to what the Typhoon carries.

    Btw, when is the US going to make IRST standard equipment on fighters? The only fighter that came with one was the F-14D. Kinda dump not to put one on the F-22 being that a radar, even one like the F-22 has is possible to detect.

    Not a big fan of putting the IRST on a centerline tank ala what the Navy is doing with the F-18E/F.

  • V.A.

    Its 126 aircraft, plus an option for 74 more to push up the numbers to an even 200.

    The Typhoon, Rafale, Gripen, and Super Hornet are also competitors for India’s planned 2nd indigenous carrier, which is going to be built with a CATOBAR arrangement. Given that Typhoon and Gripen don’t really have naval versions, the competition mostly between the Rhino and Rafale. I’m guessing this MRCA tender win will do a lot for Rafale’s case in the Naval Air Arm procurement tender too. Unless the US decide to ease up on the CISMoA/INFOSEC or India decides to accept them.

  • brok3n

    The reality of it was that their was only two real options that made the most sense from the get-go, the MiG-35 and the Rafale. History, politics, and existing supply lines we’re really the deciding factor here. The rest of the competition contributed to valuable technical intel for the Indians and nothing else. It will be interesting to see how the Indians cope with higher operating cost and R&D cost for AESA and other ‘stuff’ the French promised them.

  • Pedro

    It hasn’t been declared the WINNER. It has been declared the CHEAPEST.
    Good luck to anyone negotiating with the Indians on price and I hope they enjoy reading ‘Le livre d’insrtuction”

    We need to offer some Eurofighters to Pakistan, that would focus some Indian minds on what counts outside of air-shows.
    Hot and High ? – what does that mean?

  • sdog

    wow unexpected

  • Muhammad Imran

    Basically its simple… Pakistani F16 pilots are so darn trainined on it and have counted every single pimple and mole on sexy bodies of F16s that they will rape to death any wannabe american plane from other side. Now Russians tech is all reversed and cloned in chinese Jxx series even WS10 engine is reversed from russian tech. So only European tech is “somewhat” left from Pakistani experience.


    Dassault will probably be taking a manufacturing lost at selling their Rafale for the equivalent of $80M USD; but fortunately, some of the manufacturing will be done in India where labor is cheaper and this will allow Dassault to keep their company intact long enough to possibly develop a 5th Generation variant of the Rafale.

  • TonyC

    Rafale can fly from carriers and is newer technology than the MIG-29, that makes it more interesting for India. The F-18E/F is slow and probably couldn’t export the AESA technology. The Typhoon is land based only, but has supercruise. India obviously wants a true multirole fighter.

  • Sev

    Wow. France actually won something? lol

  • SXO

    Yea, this one was a surprise to me, but some good points have been brought up in the comments that I hadn’t considered, like the export restrictions they would face with the Typhoon if they upgraded to an AESA radar (which is the choice I thought would win).

  • bbb

    The USA will not win a bid for aircraft sales because— congress will cut off spare parts on a whim, making the USA unreliable .

  • Usmc

    Finally the French won something lol

  • passingby

    I agree, mostly on the ground that the US is a totally unreliable weapon source and has nothing of real value to offer. The Eurofighter is still under development and is vulnerable to US political pressure for embargo during conflicts. As for Russian jets, India’s need to diversify its weapon procurement sources alone would be enough to eliminate them from competition.

    I do believe that Rafale is a far better deal than anything the US and the UK have to offer.

  • JOHN


  • Funny the Indians made their choice a few weeks after the Swiss MOD leaked the reports from their 4 plane evaluation(Super Hornet, Typhoon, Gripen and Rafale). Unlike other countries the Swiss no how to evaluate a aircraft. No tech reps, no politicans visits, no cost analysis, no foreign Air Forces pilots. Just give us 3 of your aircraft for 90days. Our pilots will evaluate the them on the missions we need. The pilots make their choice then the bean countersgo to work. 38 Swiss pilots flew all 4 types. Rafale was selected first by all 38 in every mission profile. Typhoon was good at Air to Air still behind Rafale. Super Hornet was did not meet minimum standards in 8 of 9 profiles. Swiss pilots did not know how the Gripen passed the minimum tech inspection, it also failed to meet minimum standards in 8 of 9 profiles. So after the pilots finished the Swiss agreed to give Dassault one chance(only one) to make a set cost offer. Maybe the US DOD could study this method.