Jane reported that, the delivery of the first four of 36 Dassault Rafale fighter aircraft to the Indian Air Force (IAF) has been delayed from May until the end of July due to lockdown measures imposed across France to contain the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic. Dassault’s Bordeaux–Mérignac production facility, which builds the fighter, is expected to remain inoperative until at least 11 May. Dassault will need to follow safety protocols, meaning that aircraft production and training will only resume gradually.
On 31 January 2012, it was announced that the Dassault Rafale won the competition and has been selected for exclusive negotiations. The reasons given for selection included lower unit cost and lower overall lifecycle cost for the Rafale compared to the Eurofighter due to lower fuel consumption and simpler maintenance requirements. Some reports indicated that EADS may try to re-enter the bid with a lower price quote, but MoD sources ruled out re-entry; the Rafale’s lifecycle cost per unit was about $40 million less than that of the Typhoon.
The Dassault Rafale is a French twin-engine, canard delta wing, multirole fighter aircraft designed and built by Dassault Aviation. Equipped with a wide range of weapons, the Rafale is intended to perform air supremacy, interdiction, aerial reconnaissance, ground support, in-depth strike, anti-ship strike and nuclear deterrence missions. Introduced in 2001, the Rafale is being produced for both the French Air Force and for carrier-based operations in the French Navy. The Rafale has been marketed for export to several countries, and was selected for purchase by the Indian Air Force, the Egyptian Air Force, and the Qatar Air Force.