The delivery of Rafale multirole fighter aircraft to the Indian Air Force (IAF) is likely to be delayed if Dassault’s assembly facility in Bordeaux-Mérignac remains closed beyond the end of March to limit the spread in France of the Covid-19 coronavirus.
Official sources in New Delhi told Jane's that if production at the plant were to remain suspended beyond 31 March, many of the production machines would need to undergo “time-consuming servicing”.
Such an eventuality would adversely impact the timely delivery of the 36 Rafales on order for the IAF, senior officers said, adding that this, in turn, would push back the retirement schedule for the force’s older MiG-21 variants.
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