PARIS - A "power-by-the-hour" contract with engine maker Safran is expected to deliver high readiness rates on the Rafale strike fighter, Defense Minister Hervé Morin said Feb. 22.
The global contract for the Rafale's twin M88 engines is expected to deliver "an extremely satisfactory readiness level in 2010 and even better in 2011," Morin told a news conference after a ministerial investment committee meeting. The contract would follow the changes in the aircraft, while keeping cost of ownership under control, he said.
The deal will guarantee the number of flying hours, supply of spares and logistical support for the engines he said. No financial details were available.
The contract with Safran would include a fixed portion between 2010 and 2014 and a variable portion from 2014 to 2020, Morin said.
The engine maintenance contract was an example of the collegial decision-making of the ministerial investment committee, which Morin began a year ago as part of a reform of governance at the ministry.
The committee has met 12 times and approved 30 major projects, including the Nov. 30 order for the fourth tranche of 60 Rafales and a retrofit of the first 10 aircraft to the full F3 standard.