• Pilots prepare a French Dassault Rafale fighter jet at the Swiss Army Airbase in Emmen, central Switzerland October 28, 2008.Reuters
  • Visitors look at a Dassault Rafale fighter jet during the 48th Paris Air Show at the Le Bourget airport near Paris June 19, 2009.Reuters
  • A Mica missile is installed on a Rafale fighter jet on the flight deck of France's flagship Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier March 27, 2011. The Charles de Gaulle continued to run sorties against targets in Libya as France participates in the NATO no-fly zone.Reuters
  • A French Rafale fighter jet refuels with an airborne Boeing C135 refuelling tanker aircraft from the Istres military air base during a refuelling operation above the Mediterranean Sea March 25, 2011.Reuters
  • France's Serge Dassault, head of Dassault Aviation, stands in front of a French-made Rafale fighter jet after arriving from the southern city of Istres June 11.Reuters

French company Dassault has won a multi-billion deal to supply 126 Medium Multi- Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) to the Indian Air Force (IAF).

According to sources, Rafale won the $ 10.4-billion deal, beating Eurofighter Typhoon, a company backed by four partner nations - Germany, Spain, Italy and the United Kingdom as its commercial bid was the lowest and.

Rafale was found to be similar to the French Mirage 2000 fighter jet, which is already being operated by the IAF.

The global tender was issued in 2007 by the IAF.

According to the Request for Proposal (RFP), the IAF will buy the first 18 aircraft off the shelf in the next 36 months while the other 118 will be manufactured at HAL facilities in Bangalore, reports CNN IBN Live.

Rafale is a multi-role combat aircraft having twin engines. It can fly at a speed of 1,200 miles per hour or nearly twice the speed of sound.

It has a wingspan of 10.8 metres (35.4 feet) and is 15.3 metres long.

The delta-shaped plane can take off after 400 metres (yards), fly distances of up to 3,800 kilometers (2,360 miles) and has a combat radius of more than 1,000 nautical miles (1,850 kilometers).

It was specially designed to have the ability to take on air-to-air combat, reconnaissance flights and nuclear bombing missions. The combat awareness system that was installed enables the Rafale to engage in multiple targets at up to 200 kilometers away.

It can anchor 10 tonnes of missiles/ bombs/ oil tanks.

Check out the images of the aircraft: