The Indian Air Force has denied reports that the Dassault Rafale has been eliminated from the country’s medium multi-role combat aircraft competition.
“We have not ruled anyone out yet in the MMRCA competition,” says an IAF spokesman, who confirmed that the service is responsible for evaluating the contenders. “All of the tests have not been completed. The technical evaluations are only just over and we are scheduled to begin the flight tests next month. Everyone is still in the competition.”
Last week, several Indian newspapers reported that the Rafale was eliminated after failing the technical evaluation. When contacted, Dassault said that it is waiting for information from the French embassy in
The aircraft was not brought to the Aero India 2009 show in
Apart from the Rafale (above), the other five contenders for the $10-12 billion contract are the Boeing F/A-18E/F, Eurofighter Typhoon, Lockheed Martin F-16, RSK MiG-35, and Saab Gripen.
This is not the first time that the Indian media have reported that an aircraft has been eliminated from this closely watched competition. Early this year, it was reported that the Gripen had been knocked out but this was later proven untrue.