And the MMRCA lowest-cost bidder is (drum roll) …

Rafale.jpgFlightglobal defence editor Craig Hoyle has confirmed the Dassault Rafale has been selected as the lowest-cost bidder for the Indian Air Force’s medium, multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA) contract.

Please ignore, for the moment, the sound of Veuve Clicquot corks popping all over Bordeaux-Merignac.

We’ve been down this runway before with the Rafale. The French have demonstrated a knack for fumbling away deals even after they seemed to eliminate all of the competition (cough-Morocco, cough-cough Brazil, cough-cough-cough United Arab Emirates).

On the other hand, the MMRCA deal is structured in a way that makes it extremely improbable for the highest-cost bidder — the Eurofighter Typhoon — to come away with the contract. But we will see. Crazier things have indeed happened.

A Rafale victory means one thing for sure: Europe will continue to build three different fighters through the end of this decade, as well as begin to absorb the first F-35s. Now who’d have ever thunk that?

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