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Indian order boost Dassault's Rafale backlog

The 36 aircraft export deal signed with India, boosted Dassault's Rafale backlog to 110 aircraft in 2016, compared to 83 in 2015.

The deal marked the largest export order for the type, which has also been ordered 24 each by Egypt and Kuwait.

Dassault delivered 9 of these omnirole fighter jets in 2016, 6 to France and 3 to Egypt, compared to 8 in 2015.

French Air Force and Navy has ordered a total 180 jets of which 148 has been delivered. The sole foreign operator Egypt currently has six in fleet.

Furthermore, Dassault also delivered 2 naval Rafale M fighters retrofitted to the F3 standard to French Navy in 2016. The F3 standard brings anti-ship, reconnaissance and nuclear capability in addition to air-to-air and air-to-ground attack capabilities.

Since first delivery in 2004, Rafale's capabilities are increased incrementally. The first Rafale was delivered in the F1 standard featuring only air-to-air attack capability.

The later F2 standard introduced in 2006, added the air to ground attack capability. The latest standard is the F3R, which integrates the MBDA Meteor long-range air-to-air missile, a Thales TALIOS new-generation laser designator pod and the laser homing Hammer precision guided bomb, and is scheduled for 2018.

Dassault's business jet order intakes in 2016 reflected the sluggish market trend, with 33 Falcon series business jet order intake compared to 45 in 2015.

Deliveries also decreased to 49 aircraft in 2016, compared to 55 in the previous year.

The year also marked cancellation of order for 15 Falcon 5X business jets, compared to 20 in 2015. The Falcon 5X program is yet to take off, which was rolled out in 2015, following issues with the mid-size business jet's new Snecma Silvercrest engine.

Backlog for the Falcon jets also reduced from 91 in 2015 to 63 in 2016.

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