French defence supplier Dassault Aviation has been chosen as India’s preferred bidder in an eagerly contested $20bn race to provide 126 fighter jets to India.
The Dassault Rafale fighter jet was named the lowest priced compliant bidder ahead of the Eurofighter Typhoon which is produced by the UK’s BAE Systems. Through this deal the French have consolidated their presence in India’s defence space, while Britain suffered a significant industrial setback.
India said it will now enter into exclusive cost negotiations with Dassault to discuss the contract which is estimated to be worth between $15bn and $20bn.
In line with India’s regulations, foreign manufacturers have to either offset or purchase at least 30 percent of the components and services locally. Dassault stated that the first 18 aircrafts will be built by its French manufacturer while the remainder will be built in association with an Indian company.