Monday, 30 March 2015

The deal is not dead is Dassault Aviation’s conviction

The deal is not dead is Dassault Aviation’s conviction
By Sangeeta Saxena
Bangalore. The deal is not dead was the mood at the Dassault stands at the show. Rafale was picked in 2012 for a deal initially worth $12 billion but now estimated to have jumped to $20 billion. As per the terms of the contract, 18 of the 126  Rafale planes will be sold ready to fly while the rest will be assembled at and by  HAL. Dassault Aviation is confident of signing the delayed contract  and that too without a change in the pricing.
“The pricing issue is very clear. Our pricing remains the same from day one of L1 (lowest bidder). So there has been no change on that front,” according to Dassault Aviation CEO Eric Trappier, who was attending the air show. The major issue is guaranteeing of the quality of Dassault Rafale aircraft produced in India. Dassault may also ask for counter-guarantee from HAL on the process and quality of inputs said reliable sources.

If hearsay is to be believed Dassault estimates that the jets can be produced faster and with fewer man hours than calculated by HAL that will keep the cost of procurement low. Also Dassault is hesitant to guarantee the quality of the jets produced in India as it does not control the process in India. Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) has countered Dassault’s claim that Indian labor isn't as productive as in France and also, the level of automation here is less.
The consortium Rafale International consisting of Dassault Aviation, Thales and Snecma (safran), three leading French aerospace companies  showcased the very much in news Rafale fighter aircraft which will be a part of the IAF’s inventory sooner or later. The three Rafale fighter aircraft - one single-seat Rafale C and two two- seat Rafale B-  enthralled the audience on all the days of the show
 “We have had a long standing relationship with Indian Air Force and industry and will continue to partner India in meeting its strategic defence and economic needs. ” Said Eric Trappier, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Dassault Aviation. Looking forward to be a part of Narendra Modi’s  “make in India” program, Rafale International is all set to support  IAF both on the Indian ground and in the Indian skies. From the first Dassault Aviation aircraft, Toofani was supplied to India in 1953, aircraft from Dassault Aviation have been an integral part of Indian defence forces for over six decades. Be it  Mystere IV, the naval Alize, the Jaguar (manufactured under license by HAL), and the Mirage 2000, IAF has been proud to have them in it’s fleet.
Dassault Aviation also presented its Falcon fleet of large cabin, long range business jets at Aero India and  on display were a Falcon 7X trijet and  a Falcon 2000LXS twinjet. The French aircraft manufacturer showcased a model of Falcon 2000 multi-mission Maritime Reconnaissance Aircraft (MRA) and Falcon 900 Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) which it projects as an aircraft for naval surveillance, reconnaissance, anti-surface, electronic warfare or training of fleet. 

Dassault is the Indian market leader in the large cabin, long range aircraft segment, with 22 aircraft currently in service and several more on order. Most new orders are for longer range Falcon models like the Falcon 7X and the new flagship Falcon 8X that are capable of flying non-stop to London City Airport from anywhere in India.
The company recently opened a new Bangalore office and will soon authorize Ligare Engineering, a division of Ligare Voyages, the largest Indian Falcon operator, to provide AOG Service Level Maintenance for the Falcon 7X at its Delhi service facility. The deal with Ligare Engineering follows previous Authorized Service Center agreements with Taj Air/Metrojet, for the Falcon 2000 series, and Air Works India, for the Falcon 900EX/LX line. Both of these operations are located in Mumbai and supported by satellite facilities around the country. The regional support network includes spares warehouses in Mumbai and Chennai and is backed up by offshore facilities in Dubai, Singapore and Paris. Pilot training is available at CAE in Dubai and technical training may soon be offered there as well. A customer service representative in the Dassault Aviation office in Mumbai serves as regional support coordinator.
A good mix of military and business aviation, the French major was optimistic of India being it’s most favoured destination and a lucrative market for years to come. 


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