The infamy of the Indian red tape has gone global.
Foreseeing a delay in the multi-billion dollar MRCA (multi-role combat aircraft) tender for the purchase of 126 fighters, one of the contenders for the contract has made an “unsolicited offer” of supplying 40 fighters to the Indian Air Force as a short-term measure to augment its dwindling combat fleet.
Dassault Aviation Chief Executive Officer Charles Edelstenne, a member of the business delegation accompanying French President Nicholas Sarkozy, said, “We have some experience with Indian delays. Which is why Dassault has made the unsolicited offer.”
Dassault first made the offer last year. Edelstenne reiterated that the aircraft were still very much on offer, should India be interested.
India has purchased 60 Mirage 2000s from Dassault since 1982. Dassault intends to pursue its cooperation with the IAF with the Rafale, which it describes as a new generation omnirole aircraft. Dassault has offered to upgrade three squadrons of Mirage 2000s. Edelstenne said a decision from India was awaited.