Future Rafale deals will also be govt-to-govt, says Defence Minister Parrikar

Defence Minister indicates the $ 20-billion MMRCA tender has virtually been scrapped

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | Updated: April 14, 2015 3:08 am
Rafale, Rafale deal, Manohar Parrikar, Parrikar Rafale deal, France Rafale Deal Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar.

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Monday said the future procurement of Rafale fighter jets will also be through government-to-government (G-to-G) route. Without directly commenting on the future of the original tender negotiations for 126 Rafale fighter jets, the minister used an anecdote saying, “one car cannot run on two roads” indicating a likely end of road for the tender route. The comments also put an end to likely entry of another player in the original deal.

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Speaking just three days after India asked France to supply 36 Rafale jets in a fly-away condition, Parrikar in his South Block office said that the earlier deal-which is officially still on-was mired in “confusion” and “chaos”-which led to the government deciding to go for the G-to-G route. The future “deal” will be in G-to-G mode and that “36 planes will be manufactured by the company in France,” he said.

The Indo-France joint statement on April 10, while announcing the purchase, had said that “Inter-Governmental

Agreement” is being done on terms better than ones under “the separate process underway”-leaving an open end to the ongoing negotiations. Parrikar’s comments may, in all likelihood, mean an end of road for the direct negotiations with the manufacturer, Dassault. As per the original contract, 18 of the 126 aircraft were to be bought off-the-shelf from Dassault while 108 were to be manufactured in India under transfer of technology (ToT) to state- owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).

The negotiations, which were going on since January 2012, when Dassault was declared the lowest bidder, was further complicated when two sides locked horns over who should take responsibility of the aircraft manufactured by HAL. The delay also resulted in increasing the cost of the project from about 10 billion$ to nearly 20 billion$.

The government’s decision to buy 36 aircraft directly from French government, which cleverly avoided the legal complications that would have arisen out of tampering with ongoing negotiations, was perceived by many as going against the government’s Make in India slogan. Parrikar, however, said that scope is being analyzed for Indian participation for the procurement of future aircraft.

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  1. R
    Apr 13, 2015 at 9:49 pm
    based on cost and local manufacturing commitment Rafael was given contract. If outright purchase why can't go for some american or British fighters. They are well proven .
    1. A
      Apr 14, 2015 at 3:55 am
      Why all of a sudden BJP has made a "U-Turn" on issues like 'Make in India' and 'Transparency in Tendering Process', it smells rat ! What if the French aircraft are found wanting in actual usage conditions ? What is being done is to shut out other compeors for some undisclosed reason !
      1. K
        Apr 14, 2015 at 12:12 pm
        With UPA Govt the deal was between France agents and Sonia hi & Co;the nation never matter!
        1. A
          Apr 14, 2015 at 11:44 am
          We can go to MARS, but we can't go few thousand KMs , with" Made In India " tag , Euro Zindaabad, Frane Zindaabaad .................. swadeshi Mrdabaad, HAL Murdaabaad, BHaarat Maataa ki ...... FDI. LOL
          1. G
            Apr 14, 2015 at 12:07 am
            Perhaps you guys don't see it but this is a master stroke by the GoI. Let me explain why. 1) The contract they had with Dessault was not working out, we wanted a good price and technology transfer. The Dessault team said that they will not do the technology transfer, even though their company is in financial danger. 2) This would have resulted in endless negotiations by our government and Dessault and we needed the aircraft yesterday. 3) Dealing with the French government will make things a lot mroe transparent and cut out the middlemen 4) This also allows the GoI with a lot of levers to pull if the deal is not going their way. India can pull diplomatic levers with the French government but cannot have the same influence on the Dessault corporation. 5) Hypothetically the French government can negotiate with Dessault better because they have influence over the company. Indian government will save a lot of headache by dealing with another sovereign state. The Rafael air-crafts were chosen not because they were the latest and the greatest but because of a few conditions that Dessault satisfied. 1) All the parts of the Aircraft is manufactured in on country that is friendly towards us. The technology is also owned by one company 2) The EuroFighter is manufactured in 4 different countries and it cannot be a good choice because we can have problems down the line if just one country has a problem with us. 3) The aircraft is better than the Swedish fighter. 4) Americans F-generation fighters cannot be bought because they not willing to sell us the latest technology and the US is moody when it comes to international ties (they refused to sell us weapons some time back). They also supply the stani airforce. 5) The Russians will not sell us their latest aircraft at a decent price and the maintenance is a big issue. There are always delays while servicing our planes and in getting spare parts. Plus the Russians will not 'sell' us the technology. 6) Theoretically, a few years down the line the entire Dessault company can be acquired by an Indian company or by the GoI or there can be joint venture. This is not possible with any of the other companies/countries. So, before you react to what you heard someone else say just think for yourself and do some research!!!
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