Dassault Aviation to Build MRO Facility near Delhi


Dassault Avisation SA MRO facility India: French aviation giant Dassault Aviation is setting up a foothold in India with plans for a maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facility near Jewar International Airport near national capital Delhi. This move paves the way for potential local manufacturing of the latest Rafale fighter jets, fulfilling India’s long-standing requirement for new warplanes.

Meeting Air Force Needs and Fostering Collaboration

The Indian Air Force (IAF) has a critical need for around 100 twin-engine fighters over the next two decades. Dassault, along with the French government, has offered to manufacture Rafales in India under the “Make in India” initiative, incorporating locally sourced components. This collaboration would address the IAF’s needs while promoting Indian manufacturing capabilities.

India-France defence cooperation

Engine maker Safran SA is also joining the Indian aerospace ecosystem. They plan to establish an MRO facility near Hyderabad specifically for Rafale engines, potentially leading to local production of M-88 engines if sufficient demand exists.

With the indigenous LCA Mark II project facing delays, Rafale jets offer a solution not only for the IAF’s needs but also for potential exports. Dassault is already exploring partnerships with Indian companies for parts production, aiming to expand its local supply chain.

IAF’s Mirage 2000 jet.

Strategic Partnership

This collaboration benefits both India and France. Dassault, with a full order book, lacks the capacity to manufacture additional jets for India. Local production would address this gap while strengthening the strategic partnership between the two nations. France’s history of reliable aircraft supply to India, dating back to the 1950s, further assures a smooth partnership.

Boosting IAF Capabilities

The IAF currently operates 36 Rafale jets with advanced weaponry. The Indian Navy is also negotiating for 26 maritime variant Rafales for its aircraft carrier INS Vikrant.  A robust maintenance infrastructure, including base depots, repair facilities, training centers, and simulators, is already established for these jets at the Ambala airbase.

HAL-Safran Helicopter Engines JV.

HAL-Safran Helicopter Engines JV.

Addressing Security Concerns

Considering the long lead times for developing and deploying fighter jets, India’s decision to partner with France provides a crucial advantage.  France’s stable licensing policies offer reassurance compared to past experiences with other suppliers. This collaboration is particularly important in light of China’s growing military assertiveness and advancements in fighter jet technology.

Comments are closed.