Eurofighter ‘Still In Race’ For India Jet Deal

Rafale jets have the UAE interested but Eurofighter chief says India deal is far from closed.



British Prime Minister David Cameron.

The Eurofighter Typhoon is still in competition to claim a new fighter jet deal with India, according to the chief of the warplane, as the British Prime Minister visited the country this week in an attempt to win new trade contracts.

The Typhoon is locked in a head-to-head battle with the French-made Rafale jet, whose owners Dassault Aviation begun exclusive talks with their Indian counterparts over 12 months ago.

The deal is expected to be worth around $10 billion.

David Cameron arrived in India on Monday to try and win new trade and investment deals and will hope he can persuade the Indian authorities that the Eurofighter offer is still on the table.

Rafale supporters should be feeling confident after France’s senior defence industry lobbyist told reporters in Abu Dhabi on Sunday that he was confident the UAE would buy a number of Rafale jets by 2015-2016.

However, Eurofighter chief executive, Enzo Casolini, told reporters in Abu Dhabi that he is confident the British-made jet still has a chance against Rafale in India.

“We believe the Eurofighter is still there. We are on standby, in case they come back to us.”

Despite starting talks in January 2012, the French and Indian governments have failed to reach an agreement over the Rafale jets, potentially opening the door for the Eurofighter.