The buzz is Missing
by Kalyani Datta
The ninth international aerospace exhibition, Aero India, begins in Bengaluru but the buzz associated with such an event is missing this time. The most probable reason for this is India selecting French-made Rafale fighter jet under its medium multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA) mega deal worth over Rs 50,000 crore. The Government is now in advanced stage of price negotiations with Dassault, the manufacturer of Rafale, and the final contract is likely to be inked by the end of this fiscal or in the first quarter of the next financial year.
Generally known as ‘mother of all deals,’ this contract was most sought after by all aviation giants and the entire international weapons market and governments alike were keenly watching the competition. It was quite obvious that the deal for 127 jets would turnaround the economy of the country which bagged the order and France has emerged as the winner. Since aviation industry employs technical manpower with high skills, manufacturers need such big orders to stay afloat and more so when Europe and the US are only now emerging out of recession.
Given this scenario, the last two Aero India events were successful, with all leading players in the aerospace arena displaying their aircraft, helicopters and related equipment like avionics and other systems. But this time, the selection of Rafale has definitely turned out to be one of the reasons for the somewhat low key participation though officials say ‘Aero India is not MMRCA driven and we have to move on’. They have a valid point as international giants cannot afford to ignore India, which is poised to invest more than $100 billion in the next seven to ten years in acquiring state-of-the-art weapon systems…Read More