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Posted at: Sep 12, 2018, 11:33 AM; last updated: Sep 12, 2018, 11:44 AM (IST)

Best weapons and price for Rafale: IAF official who negotiated Rafale

Best weapons and price for Rafale: IAF official who negotiated Rafale
File photo of the Rafale jet.

Ajay Banerjee

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 12

One of the seniormost IAF officers, Air Marshal SBP Sinha, who was part of the Rafale cost negotiation, on Wednesday said we had got the latest weapons, sensors, a better price and delivery terms from Dassault, the French aircraft maker.

Speaking at a seminar here, Air Marshal Sinha, who heads the central command of the IAF, said, “Rafale will overwhelm our adversaries.”

Air Marshal Sinha explained the costs saying that for the first time performance-based logistics (PBL) that is to maintain the planes for five years at two separate bases (Ambala and Hashimara) is part of the upfront costs. Normally, maintenance and spares are negotiated separately after the contract of the plane is finalised.

Speaking about the earlier attempt to procure 126 multi-role medium combat aircraft (MMRCA), Air Marshal Sinha said the cost of 108 planes that were to be made by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) had never been worked out so they didn’t know what the Rafale would have cost through the HAL route.

Since Air Marshal Sinha was also part of the MMRCA negotiation, he revealed that by July 2012 issues of local production of Rafale under the previous tender had not been resolved.

One of the key issues was who would take responsibility of the local production of HAL.

After the deadlock, the issues were to either cancel the tender and invite fresh bids to negotiate with new plane maker that would take years. The price of the Rafale was already arrived at by the MMRCA negotiation Committee hence there was no issue of going ahead with Rafale. 

In the new deal, there is no transfer of technology and the IAF planes will not be made by the Indian partner of Dassault. Reliance is the Indian partner of Dassault and the Congress and others are alleging that it was a deal to benefit Reliance.

India ordered 36 Rafale at a cost of some Rs 59,000 crore. Delivery starts in September 2019.


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