Union Minister for Skill Development Rajiv Pratap Rudy flew in a Rafale fighter jet at Aero India 2017 in Bengaluru on Wednesday. Rudy who holds a commercial pilot licence flew for around 35 minutes and said that he reached 8G. In a statement to IANS, he said, “It’s a great machine it’s going to empower IAF. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has taken a right decision in inducting such a great machine.” He also added, “I have been flying other aircrafts too. I’ve flown in Su-30. This is a different machine. We reached up to 8G and I am not at all tired.”
In an agreement signed on September 23 last year between the governments of India and France, India will be purchasing as many as 36 Rafale fighter planes off-shelf. The purchase price for the fighter planes is a whopping €7.87 billion.
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The price was negotiated between the two terrorism-affected countries during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to France in April, 2015. According to the Defence Ministry, the deliveries of the aircraft will begin in September, 2019 and complete in April, 2022.
— ANI (@ANI_news) February 15, 2017
The acquisition includes a provision for offsets of 50% of the value of the Aircraft and Weapons Package (AWP), that excludes the value of Performance Based Logistics (PBL) and Simulator Annual Maintenance (SAM). This will be discharged by the vendors through purchase of eligible products supplied by Indian firms.