MRCA: India, France sign Rafale agreement

SHAH ALAM: India and France signed an agreement on Monday in India, for the long delayed purchase of 36 Rafale fighter jets. However, the final deal hinged on the financial details.

French president Francois Hollande confirmed that “some financial issues” need to be resolved first before the deal first announced in 2012 could be finalised.

The Rafale. the loser in Switzerland, but a winner in Qatar, India and Egypt.
The Rafale. the loser in Switzerland, but a winner in Qatar, India and Egypt.

In a press release, DDassault Aviation stated “During French President François Hollande’s visit to India, French and Indian government authorities signed an intergovernmental agreement paving the way for the conclusion of a contract for the sale of 36 Rafale fighters to India.

Dassault Aviation is very pleased with this progress, and is actively supporting French authorities in their efforts to finalize a complete agreement within the next four weeks.”

It was reported that the cost of the 36 aircraft deal could reach around 5 billion euros or US$5.6 billion. Some other reports suggest that the price – which include support, training and weapons may well cost 11 billion Euros or US$11.9 billion.

A CGI image of Typhoon with Kuwaiti Air Force colours. Eurofighter.
A CGI image of Typhoon with Kuwaiti Air Force colours. Eurofighter.

The Rafale is one of the contenders for RMAF’s long delayed MRCA programme. The other three fighters in contention is the Eurofighter Typhoon, Boeing Super Hornet and the Saab Gripen NG.

— Malaysian Defence

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About Marhalim Abas 2205 Articles
Shah Alam


  1. So 18 Rafales will cost around RM12-13 billion. Definitely we will need the legacy Hornets donation from Kuwait and Australia.

  2. Wow really. 5.6 billion usd for 36 rafales. Seems very cheap compared to Egyptian and Qatar’s payment.

    Its an estimate only, we will know the real figure once the final deal is signed. It is expected that India will get a cheaper price compared to Qatar and Egypt, they are buying another 100 or so. That is why they are bargaining so hard.

  3. With the current economic turmoil, the MRCA programme is the least of the government concern. Sustenance is the name of the game to ensure the existing fleet of aircraft is flyable until 2020. What we have currently is not that bad and not perfect but it’s better than most countries in the region. With economic growth suppressed for the next few years, even China will think twice on military spending. Now is the time where multi dimensional thinking is required, sociopolitical, economy and military dimensions – those whom can strike the right balance will emerge as future winner.

  4. Agreed. The economical situation is bad. Maintaining the aircraft and make sure they are in the highest operational capability should be our priority at least by these coming few years. And if any major stuff that should be done is upgrading our already available assets.

    And hopefully they will buy something in the future that won’t give a headache to our servicemen.

  5. Yet it is in times of economic slowdown that states tend to make territorial provocations as a nationalistic distraction for their populations.

    The economies of our two most prominent security concerns are slowing down. More patrol assets are definitely useful in such a time, perhaps more useful than when times are good.

  6. so how much we need to fork out for 18 advance super hornet included weapon package? one source quoted saying USD52 million flyway cost per aircraft not include the weapon package, just wanted to know btw i know the current economy probably not the best idea to buy now just wanted to know roughly how much.

    My best figure is around USD80 million per aircraft with support costs but no weapons package. Others will chip in of course…

  7. I think Rafale is grossly overpriced, just like the Eurofighter. I remember a few years ago someone from British Aerospace put up a price of about RM 1 B per Eurofighter. Now Rafale is charging about the same. Can’t we get some light fighters like the Korean K-50, or even some AJT (M-346?, or even L159) with A2A capability, but in numbers? It serves no purpose to get something like the 8 units of Hornets to form HALF a squadron… What air war are we going to fight? Against regional foes, we are already outnumbered (tiny red dot has over 100+ advance fighters) Against Sulu forces, Super Tucano is good enough!

  8. On the other hand…

    Kuwait is going to sign for 28 eurofighters on 31/01/16. It will consist of 22 single seat and 6 twin seat aesa equipped tranche 3 aircrafts, to be delivered by 2019. They wanted super hornets but the approval delays means that they have to get some typhoons first. It is possible that they could get the super hornet later.

    As for malaysia’s fighter condurum,

    1) stick to the MKM. Get maybe half a dozen additional secondhand mki from India to bypass the Russian issue right now. This will enable some airframes to rotate for maintenance and to have a mkm permanent detachment in labuan. Stockpile more spareparts to increase the operational rate. Have some upgrades to the aircraft (satellite datalinks, update the damocles pod, a new recce pod to replace the rf-5e recce capability etc.)

    2) get some cheap lightweight air defence capable fighters. A 40 aircraft mix of FA-50 and TA-50 could be had for about usd1.3bil. This could equip 2 operational squadrons (1 in labuan) and 1 lift training squadron.

    3) maintain our legacy hornet fleet. As is it could still be used up till 2030. Get additional aircrafts from Kuwait and Australian fleet around 2019-2020.

    Maintain a 3 fighter type fleet post 2020.

    This is the most affordable and sensible option that malaysia can take right now.

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