French aircraft manufacturer Dassault is in talks with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) for possible cooperation in future production of Rafale fighter jets in the country, reported The Economic Times. Discussions have taken place between the two companies on possible work share for additional orders, the report added.
Dassault is currently executing the supply of 36 Rafale jets to India in addition to investing 50 percent of the 7.8 billion euros contract price in the Indian aerospace and defence sectors, the ET report said. The French firm has set up a factory in Nagpur in collaboration with Reliance Defence and is also looking to produce the falcon executive jets locally, the report added.
Earlier, both firms had joined hands on the $2.1 billion deal to upgrade the Indian Air Force’s Mirage 2000 fleet. The companies could work towards creating a work share model to manufacture parts of the Rafale jets in India in case additional orders are placed, the report said.
Recently, the chief of defence staff Bipin Rawat made comments supporting staggered purchases in small batches of fighter jets in the future to ensure that allocated funds cover the price.