New Delhi: Only one out of the 36 Rafale fighter aircrafts is expected to be supplied from France to India until the end of the contract period – which is April 2022 – equipped with India-specific Enhancements, a report has claimed. As per the Indian Express, the rest of the 35 jets will be delivered to India from September 2019 onwards. However, the specific enhancements to the 35 Rafale jets will be incorporated to them in India itself following the contract period at the rate of seven aircraft per month, the daily reported. Notably, in July, defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman had mentioned in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha that “delivery of 36 Rafale aircraft in a fly-away condition along with associated equipment and weapons will commence from September 2019 and will be completed by April 2022.”
Sources told the daily, “The flight test and certification of the India-Specific Enhancements on one Rafale will be complete within 67 months (until April 2022) of signing of the contract. All the aircraft cannot be equipped with India-Specific Enhancements unless the flight test is complete and the aircraft is certified to the new capabilities. This is the reason the last aircraft to be delivered is the first to be manufactured.
08/09/18 Times Now