Government likely to order 36 more Rafale fighter jets

The purchase of another 36 Rafale fighter jets will take the fleet to 72, which will be key to bolster India's air power, particularly in the aftermath of the Balakot strike.

Published: 22nd September 2019 04:09 PM  |   Last Updated: 22nd September 2019 04:09 PM   |  A+A-

Rafale fighter jet

Rafale fighter aircraft (File | PTI)


NEW DELHI: Shrugging off the controversy around the previous deal, the Narendra Modi government has finalized a deal for another 36 Rafale fighter jets, according to media reports.

An Indian Defence Research Wing report published on Saturday said the new order will be inked in early 2020.

The Indian Air Force has recently been handed over its first Rafale aircraft from France. The official handing over will take place on October 8 when Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will be visiting France.

The purchase of another 36 Rafale fighter jets will take the fleet to 72, which will be key to bolster India's air power, particularly in the aftermath of the Balakot strike, when the IAF went deep inside Pakistan to destroy terror training camps. Ever since, both India and Pakistan have been keen to bolster their air power.

Considering India's huge defence market, official sources here say the US is impressing upon India to buy its Lockheed Martin jets. However, ever since Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman downed an F-16 flown by Pakistan, this aircraft's reputation has gone down by many notches.

Even the F-21 isn't something India is keen to procure, irrespective of the pressure from the US. But the Boeing F-18, which has both a carrier as well as an Air force variant, is under consideration of the IAF along with Rafale, say sources.

SAAB's Gripen-E is out of the race, while the Russian Mig-35 and Sukhoi-Su-35 are not expected to give a tough fight to Rafale.

The IAF has decided to procure 18 Su-30 MKI and 21 Mig-29 fighter jets from Russia. Upgradation of 272 aircraft of Su- 30 MKI fleet is also under serious consideration. The recent Russia visit of PM Modi has accelerated this process.

Dassault Aviation, the creator of Rafale, and the US' Boeing, have both extended their offers to help build India's 5th generation AMCA fighter jet, provided they win the lucrative contract to supply fighter aircraft to the Indian Air force.

Stay up to date on all the latest Nation news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp