Das­sault Avi­a­tion look­ing at naval con­tract

SP's MAI - - AEROSPACE DEVELOPMENTS -

Af­ter bag­ging the €8.78-bil­lion deal for 36 Rafale fight­ers to strengthen the In­dian Air Force fleet, French air­craft man­u­fac­turer Das­sault Avi­a­tion is now eye­ing the naval con­tract of 57 air­craft that is up for grabs. The navy is­sued a re­quest for in­for­ma­tion last month seek­ing re­sponse from var­i­ous man­u­fac­tur­ers to equip its air­craft car­ri­ers with fighter jets, shelv­ing the orig­i­nal plan to go in for the naval ver­sion of the in­dige­nous Te­jas.

Eric Trap­pier, CEO of Das­sault Avi­a­tion, said the French avi­a­tion com­pany will pitch for the naval con­tract. “We are the only com­pany to have strictly the same air­craft for our air force and for our navy. Our Rafale for the navy and the air force are same. In case we have the new con­tract for the navy, we will ben­e­fit from the lo­cal im­ple­men­ta­tion of the Rafale pro­duc­tion [for the air force],” Trap­pier said.

Like other de­fence com­pa­nies vy­ing for the multi­bil­lion-dol­lar con­tract, Das­sault too has of­fered to set up a man­u­fac­tur­ing line in In­dia. “We started to think se­ri­ously about pro­duc­ing Rafale in In­dia a long time ago. We will start pro­duc­tion of parts of Rafale, which is a part of the ex­isit­ing con­tract.

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