In one of the most crucial deals in global aviation sector, Dassault and Airbus have announced a joint venture to manufacture fifth generation fighter jets that will soon replace Rafale aircraft. The accord was signed at ongoing Paris Air Show in presence of French President Emmanuel Macron, who also tweeted out the photo of the deal-signing ceremony. “Who would have thought it possible to see Germany, Spain and France working together on the same fighter jet? To see our great industrialists join forces. The Air System of the Future program, the SCAF, is moving forward! The Europe of defence is being built,” Macron said on micro-blogging site.
According to a Reuters report, France's Safran and Germany's MTU Aero Engines will jointly develop the new warplane's engine. The deal comes after Britain launched its own plans for a new combat jet dubbed "Tempest" last year.
This new development will no make any change India’s Rafale aircraft. Rafale fighter jets will be delivered to India sometime in October later this year. There are reports that the Indian Air Force is planning to deploy Rafale fighter jets at strategic air bases near Pakistan and China. As part of change in the current structure, the Indian Air Force will deploy Rafale squadrons at Haryana’s Ambala and West Bengal’s Hashimpura bases respectively. At present, the number 3 ‘Cobra’ squadron of MiG-21 Bison fighter jets has been deployed in Ambala since 1997. But with Rafale taking over the fighter base in next two years, the ‘Cobra’ squadron will be shifted to Rajasthan’s Nal air base.
After India signed the multi-billion fighter jet deal, the Indian Air Force has been planning to replace the aging fighter jets. The strategic deployment will help India in protecting her Western and Eastern front. With Pakistan in the West and China in the East, the Rafale deployment will help India in achieving a formidable position. To protect its skies, India has so far been relying on the Sukhoi-30MKIs. However, the Indian Air Force regards Rafale higher than the current lot of fighter jets.