The system is considered the best of its kind in the world, and is utilized by many air forces. Rafael is presently creating the fourth generation of the system, which is also used by the United States. US sales are carried out by Northrop Grumman, Rafael’s partner in the Litening field in the US market.
Indian officers have made it clear on multiple occasions that they would like to see the Rafael system onboard the selected fighter aircraft. India took the two US aircraft – the F-16 and F-18 – out of the race, and finally selected the Rafale aircraft a few weeks ago. The Rafale is made by the French company Dassault Aviation.
It was made clear several weeks ago that India is under considerable pressure from France. It was reported that the Indian air force would procure 500 air-to-air MIKA missiles of French production at an estimated worth of $1.2 billion. The deal was part of the upgrade of 51 Mirage 2000 fighter aircraft of French production. Rafael’s air-to-air missiles are considerably more advanced than those produced in Europe, yet India decided to procure the French missile nevertheless.
“The French almost never allow any country to participate with them in military deals," says an Israeli source. According to him, while the French government is actively involved in aiding the export of French-produced military systems, the Israeli government barely provides any assistance. Israeli sources confirm that there are contacts with Dassault Aviation, the producer of the selected aircraft, in an attempt to propose a joint deal, however they say that the chances for such a deal are slim.
: Israel Defense