India's planned $15bn Rafale jet deal may be delayed

5 April 2013
By Sofia Mitra-Thakur
Mobile version
Share |
A Dassault Rafale combat aircraft

A Dassault Rafale combat aircraft

India's planned deal to buy 126 fighter-jets from Dassault Aviation could be delayed as the two sides struggle to reach an agreement over the role of state-run Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL), a defence ministry source said.

India picked the Dassault-made Rafale jet for exclusive negotiations in January 2012 after a hotly contested bidding war with rival manufacturers, but it is still to finalise the $15 billion deal, one of the world's largest defence import orders.

Under the initial terms of the proposed deal, Dassault was expected to provide 18 fighters in "fly-away" condition, and then let HAL manufacture the rest in India.

However, Dassault now wants two separate contracts to be signed - one for the ready-made ones, and another for the rest to be built by HAL, but India opposes that proposal, the defence ministry source, who is familiar with the developments, said.

"Dassault says HAL does not have the capacity and capability to assemble the aircraft," said the source, who declined to be identified because he is not authorised to speak to the media.

"HAL is our main public sector partner. And if needed, capacity and capabilities can be improved. But the proposal for two contracts is not agreeable to the government of India," he said.

The source said the dispute would likely delay finalising the deal but not derail it. Indian defence ministry officials had earlier expressed the hope that the deal could be finalised by July.

An India-based spokeswoman for Dassault did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

Dassault has agreed to supply manufacturing kits and equipment to HAL on time, but will not play a further role in manufacturing after that, the Indian Express newspaper said.

Negotiations between the company and the Indian government have completely stopped over the disagreement, the paper reported, without identifying its sources.

A Defence Ministry spokesman did not have any immediate comment.

Dassault has previously expressed doubts about the technological capability of HAL to manufacture such a sophisticated fighter jet. 

A HAL programme to manufacture advanced jet trainers is running years behind schedule.

Rafale defeated the Eurofighter Typhoon to win the Indian government deal.

The Typhoon is developed by a consortium of BAE Systems, Finmeccanica and EADS.

Latest Issue

E&T cover image 1607

"As the dust settles after the referendum result, we consider what happens next. We also look forward to an international summer of sport."

E&T jobs

  • Electrician

    The Bristol Port Company
    • City of Bristol
    • C. £31,729 per annum plus supplements, benefits and overtime

    You’re a good team worker with a strong technical capacity – so bring your talents to a new role with one of the area’s leading employers.

    • Recruiter: The Bristol Port Company

    Apply for this job

  • Supply Restoration Team Manager (HV/SAP)

    SSE
    • Oxford, Oxfordshire
    • Salary: £37,588 to £49,645 + Car (SSE8) Depending on skills and experience

    SSE is looking to recruit a Supply Restoration Team Manager to join our existing team in Oxford.

    • Recruiter: SSE

    Apply for this job

  • Electrical Technical Lead - Global Operations, Engineering & Laboratory

    Pfizer Ltd
    • Kent

    An exciting opportunity has arisen to join a dynamic team of professional engineers, supporting the development of novel drugs.

    • Recruiter: Pfizer Ltd

    Apply for this job

  • Supply Restoration Team Manager (HV/SAP)

    SSE
    • Oxfordshire
    • Salary: £37,588 to £49,645 + Car (SSE8) Depending on skills and experience

    SSE is looking to recruit a Supply Restoration Team Manager into our office in Oxford.

    • Recruiter: SSE

    Apply for this job

  • Electronics & Control Systems Engineer

    Frazer-Nash Consultancy Ltd
    • Bristol, Burton, Glasgow, Plymouth, Warrington
    • £ Competitive + Benefits

    We are seeking talented Electronics Engineers at all career levels.

    • Recruiter: Frazer-Nash Consultancy Ltd

    Apply for this job

  • Control and Instrumentation Engineers

    Frazer-Nash Consultancy Ltd
    • Bristol, Burton, Glasgow, Gloucester
    • £ Competitive + Benefits

    Frazer-Nash is currently embarking on a period of significant growth of our electrical, electronics, control and instrumentation capability.

    • Recruiter: Frazer-Nash Consultancy Ltd

    Apply for this job

  • Electrical Engineer

    Gridpower Ltd
    • Newcastle Upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear

    Co-ordination of all project design deliverables and the leadership of a project team to deliver overall project[s] Right First Time

    • Recruiter: Gridpower Ltd

    Apply for this job

  • Electrical Technician

    National Grid
    • England, Lancashire
    • £29000 - £34000 per year

    Electrical Technician - Gas Transmission - Ref. 11206Salary: £29k - £34k, call-out and standby allowance plus job requirement vehicleLocation: Nether Kellet Compressor Station (LA6 1HD), Lancashire National Grid plc is the operator of the GB gas transmiss

    • Recruiter: National Grid

    Apply for this job

  • Engineering Officer

    Royal Air Force
    • Nationwide
    • £30k pay after initial training + £10k Golden Hello

    Responsible for the optimum performance of all RAF technology, and specialise in either Aerosystems or Communications Electronics.

    • Recruiter: Royal Air Force

    Apply for this job

  • Senior Systems Engineer

    Strainstall Marine
    • Cowes, Isle of Wight
    • Competitive + Benefits

    Oversee all aspects of electronic & systems engineering, manufacturing, test engineering and hardware support activities

    • Recruiter: Strainstall Marine

    Apply for this job

More jobs ▶

Subscribe

Choose the way you would like to access the latest news and developments in your field.

Subscribe to E&T