Decoding All that Noise behind the Rafale Deal

ANALYSIS

The Rafale Deal has led to controversial allegations and counter-allegations in the realm of Indian politics; here is a breakdown of the controversial deal.

The New Leam Staff

About his statement and Reliance’s involvement in the deal, the former minister Hollande gave a contradictory statement saying that “only Dassault can comment on it”./ Image Source : DASSAULT AVIATION – V. ALMANSA

In yet another case of the opposition blaming the BJP led Modi Government of lack of accountability, the Modi government’s stance is observed to be mysterious; the case in point here is the Rafale Deal.

The Modi government announced to buy 36 French- manufactured Rafale fighter jets off-the shelf from Dassault Aviation, a French aircraft builder and integrator. The plan to buy the Rafale jets was made by the then UPA government back in 2012 and at that time the Indian government had agreed to buy 126 Rafales from the French counterpart but when the Modi led government came to power they backed away from the commitment saying that the Rafale jets would be too expensive but there was an urgent need to upgrade the Indian Air Force through the fighter planes and thus the Modi government decided to buy 36 “ready-to-fly” fighters instead of buying only 18 off-the-shelf  jets from France’s Dassault Aviation and assembling the rest 108 in India by the sate – run Hindustan Aeronautics Limited or HAL in Bengaluru.

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In 2016, the Rafale Deal was signed between India and France, where India paid Rs. 58,000 crore which is 7.8 million Euros for the 36 off-the shelf Dassault Rafale twin-engine fighters and 15 percent of the cost was agreed to be paid in advance. An important off set clause is added to this deal, according to which France will invest 30 % of the 7.8 billion euros in India’s military aeronautics-related research programmes and 20 % into local production.

The opposition party, Congress has a problem here as they accuse the Modi government of lack of transparency and accountability while making the deal. The congress government demanded for a joint parliamentary committee or JPC probe into the Rafale fighter jet deal.

Aggravation of the Controversy

The controversy got more aggravated when the ex- Prime Minister of France gave a statement to the French investigative website Media-part saying that the Indian Government proposed reliance Defence as the Indian partner of French’s s Dassault for manufacturing the aircraft’s. Reliance Defence has no history of manufacturing aircrafts or missiles in India.

On asking about his statement and Reliance’s involvement in the deal, the former minister Hollande gave a contradictory statement saying that “only Dassault can comment on it”.

As of now the Modi government is strongly in opposition with the claims and the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has given a statement asking the CAG to audit the pricing of the deal and refuting the French minister’s claim by stating that truth can have two versions. In lieu of such a statement Arun jaitley and the other BJP ministers are criticised for escaping the probe in the matter the government has no plans to set up an inquiry for the issue.

Rafales are twin-engine combat jet designed as a multi-role fighter for air-to-air and air-to-ground jet with which nuclear attack is possible and its system of on-board Electronic Warfare (EW) systems can also perform reconnaissance and radar jamming roles. These fighter jets are required for upgrading the ageing technology of the Indian Air force.

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