India’s procurement of 126 Dassault Rafale fighteraircraft to meet the Indian Air Force’s (IAF’s) longstanding Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) requirement is slowly moving towards a conclusion under India’s newly installed BJP government, official and industry sources told IHS Jane’s .
“The Rafale negotiations are entering their last lap and could be concluded over the next 6-8 months” military analyst Air Marshal V K Bhatia (retd) said on 8 July.”It is likely to be signed sooner than later as a significant portion of contract negotiations have been completed,” he added.
Official sources said two of four sub-committees negotiating the Rafale contract since early 2012, one on offset obligations of 50% of the final contract value and the other on maintenance support to sustain the fighters for 40 years, have recently submitted their reports to the Ministry of Defence (MoD).
According to a Report published in the Latest Issue of India’s Prominent Aerospace magazine ” Vayu Aerospace & Defence Review, German Goverment had came up with a Unique Proposal to the goverment of India , way back in 2012 . Where German Air force had shown interest acquiring LCA Twin Seat Version has a Lead in Fighter ( LIFT).
According to the report, Proposal was made in January of 2012. Germany was interested in using LCA Trainer has a lead in fighter to train new fighter pilots, before Pilots could be posted to frontline fighter squadrons.Germany was interested in acquiring two dozen of the jet, and had also promised Indian government in Marketing the Jet in European Market to replace older F-5 jets, which are used by some air forces in Europe .
While the report failed to clear out, why Germans developed sudden Love for Lca Tejas , But the timing of the proposal when it was made to the Government, might give some hints, on the matter .January 2012 was when Rafale was declared winner of the MMRCA competition .Germans Proposal was kinda like a Barter Deal made to Bag the MMRCA contract. Rafale and Eurofighter were last two Finalist in the Indian MMRCA competition.
German-Spanish consortium, EADS Interestingly had provided consultancy to HAL to overcome persistent design glitches that dog the LCA, including fuel distribution, uneven braking, flight controls, environmental controls and testing. Working closely with HAL on Tejas , Germans had the opportunity to closely study the aircraft due such arrangements with EADS, this might have lead Germans finding true potential of Tejas has a Trainer, to be used has Lead in Fighter for training pilots .
Interestingly Americans too in past had asked Indian agencies if joint development of a Trainer aircraft could be carried out , cannot confirm if they were talking about LCA Trainer . Report does mentions that LCA Trainer could have been a serious contender to American T-X program, which sought to replace ageing T-38 Talon from USAF fleet, if such proposal was accepted .
Was it opportunity lost or Pure Hawkish proposal by Germans , Well we will never know what really happened, But Germans and British are still pursuing and trying to convince Indian government to go for purchase of Eurofighter, if talks with France for purchase of 126 Rafale Jets falls out .