Rafale to en­ter In­dian ser­vice in 2017: Air Force Chief

SP's MAI - - AEROSPACE -

The Chief of Air Staff of the In­dian Air Force, N.A.K. Browne said the Rafale are ex­pected to be in­ducted into the force by 2017, three years ap­prox­i­mately af­ter the con­tract is signed. The In­dian Air Force is ne­go­ti­at­ing with French avi­a­tion ma­jor Das­sault Avi­a­tion’s Rafale for 126 medium fighter jets in a multi­bil­lion dol­lar deal.

The deal suf­fered a “set back” due to the death of an of­fi­cial, who han­dled the ne­go­ti­a­tion, in Septem­ber. Now a new Joint Sec­re­tary has joined last week to take the ne­go­ti­a­tions for­ward, Browne told re­porters here.

“They have had meet­ings as of this time and I am hope­ful that by early next year we should be able to wrap this case for the Air Force,” Browne said.

Ac­cord­ing to the re­quest for pro­posal (RFP) of the IAF, 18 air­craft will be brought in the next three years while the re­main­ing air­craft is likely to be man­u­fac­tured at HAL fa­cil­i­ties at Ben­galuru, de­fence sources said.

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