Dassault to offer Rafale fighter to Indian navy

Dassault Aviation plans to tender a bid to supply the Indian navy with Rafale fighter jets.
By Richard Tomkins  |  Feb. 16, 2017 at 11:59 AM
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Feb. 16 (UPI) -- Dassault Aviation of France plans to bid on a contract to supply 57 fighter jets to the Indian Navy, the Press Trust of India reported.

Eric Trappier, chief executive officer of Dassault Aviation, was quoted as telling the agency of the company's planned bid while attending the Aero India 2017 air show.

"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," he said.

Dassault Aviation recently won a $9.28 billion contract to supply Rafale fighters to the Indian air force.

The Indian navy last month had issued a Request for Information from aircraft manufacturers after deciding to kill an earlier plan to purchase a naval version of the indigenous Tejas fighter.

"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.

Dassault has already begun manufacturing the initial lot of 36 Rafale jets for the Indian air force.

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