Eric Trappier (Dassault): "India is a signature of the Rafale contract in six months"
Despite the battering of BAE who tries to deliver the Eurofighter in the race, Dassault expects to conclude the first sale of Rafale abroad this year. The decision of New Delhi has had a ripple effect on other ongoing campaigns, says the director of international aircraft manufacturer.
In India, the Rafale has won the tender for the purchase of 126 combat aircraft. What could stop exclusive negotiations now?
I see no reason why we can go after and bring the Indians to stop when they have done the hard part. The procedure started in 2007. After several weeks of evaluations in extreme conditions, the slopes of the Himalayas to the desert sands, the Air Force selected two aircraft: the Rafale and Eurofighter. Ultimately, it is the lowest bid that won both in terms of unit cost of the device itself and its maintenance over time. Everything was conducted on the basis of criteria set in advance and have been scrupulously observed, without political involvement. This tender is exemplary.
When do you expect to find?
The Indians want to go fast, and considering a conclusion in about six months
. We need to finalize the terms technical and industrial, and build a contract whose terms are equivalent to those of the Mirage 2000 (signed in 2000, Ed).
BAE has been suggested that the Eurofighter could get back on track ...
I do not believe, and I am surprised that some people are themselves surprised that the Rafale has prevailed. In all competitions where the two planes were opposed, the Eurofighter has been eliminated in the first round, as in Korea, the Netherlands, and Brazil, where he was ranked behind the Rafale, as in India
. Or in Switzerland, as evidenced by the evaluation report of the armed forces published in the press. I add that the calculations of the Court of Accounts UK show that the Eurofighter is much more expensive. Operationally then, the Rafale has proved its versatility during Operation Harmattan, unlike the Eurofighter was conceived as a pure fighter. The tender has appointed Indian clearly the best aircraft.
At what price? Have you offered cheaper than that sold to France?
The price of the Rafale in India is offered at French prices
, adjusted for expenses related to the contract since it is not quite the same technical configuration
, and that manufacturing will be in part locally. The competition was so tough that each side had to offer the best possible price. That said, we have not done dumping to win. A iso-conditions, we proposed the price of French Rafale.
Of the 126 units planned, only 18 will be manufactured in France. Should we expect limited industrial benefits?
The IRB will not match the production of 126 Rafale in France, but not to build a few copies. Technology transfer will be done gradually and there will be no global licensing agreement, but licensing agreements for each device. In other words, each device will live his own life and its production in India will obey a rise own. The goal is that India is capable of manufacturing Rafale, but there will always be some activity in France. On the whole, the contract will employ tens of thousands of people...
...The Rafale is again given winner in Brazil. Or is tendering?
The choice of New Delhi has had a ripple effect on our other campaigns. We do not overestimate, but we do not underestimate either, because it allows us to pass a number of messages. Following a procedure very professional
, India has rejected our competitors American, Russian, Swedish and European. This is not indifferent to the country that launched a tender. As in Brazil, where the Rafale is opposed to Boeing's F-18 and Saab Gripen, who both were eliminated in the first round in India. That said, today, the tender in Brazil remains frozen. The ball is in the camp of the Brazilian government.