France to donate 31 Jaguar aircraft to India

France likely to donate 31 ex-French Air Force Jaguar fighters to India, French daily Le Point has confirmed citing high-ranking French military source.

The aircraft currently mothballed and stored at Châteaudun (Eure-et-Loir) is being offered to India as a gift, in the hopes for more Rafale orders.

Jaguar fighter jet of the Indian Air Force

Jaguar fighter jet of the Indian Air Force

According to sources, the offer was made by French President Emmanuel Macron himself on June 3rd during his meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and confirmed by highly placed French military official.

These jets will be used for spare parts and as attrition replacements in the current fleet.

The procured aircraft will be used for cannibalization to maintain sufficient spares for aircraft already in the Indian Air Force (IAF) inventory.

The deal is not surprising as the platforms are not of much use to French Air Force. They can get rid of planes that will not survive in storage condition for a long time, and the government can expect more orders for military equipment from India.

In mid-July, an American company ATAC, a subsidiary of Textron, bought 63 Mirage F1 fighters and 141 engines from France for a mere 21 million euros in order to use them for the training of the U.S. Air Force.

India has earlier signed a contract to purchase 36 Dassault Rafale fighters from France for a whooping $8.8 billion. The jets are expected to be delivered in 2019.

Currently, IAF has a fleet of 130 Jaguars IM/IS single-seat attack aircraft and 30 Jaguar IB two-seat trainers. Approximately 60 of these Jaguars will be modified to DARIN III standard by the state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and the rest will remain at DARIN II standard until they’re retired.

The planned upgrades includes new multi mode radar and auto-pilot, and HAL is also considering fitting more powerful engines (Honeywell F125IN replacing Rolls Royce Adour Mk 811) to improve performance, particularly at medium altitudes.

HAL has built 120 Jaguar deep-penetration strike aircraft under technology transfer from BAE Systems.

Indian Defence News Webdesk