Several days ago, sources from New Delhi told the Indian Air Force (IAF) were pushing for 20 more Rafale fighters from France, in addition to the 36 units worth $4.5 billion already ordered by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in April 2015. Now, the same sources affirmed that the whole deal could be dead because of ongoing dispute over offset requirements like – unconfirmed – France having to invest 50% of the $4.5 billion into India’s economy.
Actually, there has been confirmation by India’s Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar that India has withdrawn the $20 billion mega-tender to purchase 126 Rafale but the first order of 36 off-the-shelf Rafale has remained active so far. Dassault Aviation which manufactures the Rafale has not officially commented the rumors. According to Cyceon, beyond the so-called disputes, France’s termination of the Mistral contract with Russia might have played a role in Indian government’s decision. Besides, Russian-made MIG-35 is likely to make a strong comeback as New Delhi’s main choice for India’s 21st century’s air force.