The sale of 126 Rafale aircrafts built by French manufacturer Dassault Aviation to India is a priority issue for France in Asia, eventually bringing a first sale worth 18 billion euros in export to this multi-role aircraft whose quality has been praised unanimously but whose price and political significance remained two issues that seem to overshadow the many technological transfers and military benefits.
Of course, the United States prefers that India, the strategic partner with whom the former Republican administration of President George W. Bush had overbid a lot, actually endorses it through the purchase of F-16 or FA-18 or, at worst, the European Eurofighter. Russia has just started a media campaign highlighting the unity of supply and production in order to convince India to purchase its state-of-the-art Su-30 MKI.
Finally, China who, despite a bilateral diplomatic rapprochement since the coming of Xi Jinping to the presidency, views unfavorably its main potential competitor for regional leadership equip itself with most advanced armaments whose eventual transformation, clearly more fantasized than realistic, could give India a tactical airborne nuclear component of much higher quality than China and ahead of the development of the J-20 stealth bomber. In the long run, India armed with 126 Rafales would be a potential military adversary much more difficult to defeat and able to hold out on China.