FILE PHOTO: A French made Rafale jet fighter is exhibited in the workshops of Dassault-Aviation in Merignac near Bordeaux. (GEORGES GOBET/AFP via Getty Images)

THE production of Rafale fighter jets for India at the Dassault Aviation facility has been stopped on Friday (20) till March 31 in view of the French government’s precautionary measures to contain coronavirus spread.

However, Indian Air Force (IAF)said that this will have “no effect” on the arrival of the first batch of jets in May this year.

The future deliveries can get affected only if the COVID-19 lockdown in France is prolonged. The virus has claimed over 350 lives in France so far.

“The work in Dassault Aviation facility producing Rafale fighter jets for India has been stopped till March 31 in view of the measures taken by the French government to tackle COVID-19. Indian Air Force personnel are training at six different places in France,” reports said.

“There will be no effect on the arrival of the first batch of these fighters in India in May this year. The future deliveries can get affected only if the COVID-19 issue gets prolonged for a longer period,” it further said.

India has already received the five India-specific Rafale combat jets on which Indian pilots are training.

India and France had signed the Inter-Government Agreement (IGA) for 36 Rafale aircraft in 2016.