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Ajit Kumar Dubey
Ajit Kumar Dubey


Defence ministry examines Rafale jet deal


The Indian Negotiating Team (INT) discussing the over € 7.2 billion deal with France for procuring 36 Rafale combat jets has submitted its report to the defence ministry's acquisition wing.

"The INT headed by Air Marshal R.K.S. Bhadauria has submitted its report to the defence ministry's acquisition wing which will go through the commercial aspects of the deal and submit its report to the government," highly placed ministry sources told THE WEEK.

The sources said the government-to-government deal will now be carefully examined by the finance ministry and finance wing of the defence ministry, before it is sent to the cabinet committee on security headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the chief architect of the deal planned in April 2015.

The INT and the French director general of acquisition had been in talks for almost a year till April 1 this year. The Indian side, mainly guided by the deputy head of the team Rajeeve Verma, Joint Secretary and Acquisition Manager (Air), succeeded in getting a discount of almost € 1 billion (Rs 7,000 crore).

The guiding principle of the government, while negotiating the deal, was that India should get the aircraft at lower prices than what the French side was offering to the UPA dispensation.

The Prime Minister is also believed to have told the Indian negotiators that they should aim to get 25 per cent through hard bargaining, which would mean that every fourth aircraft would be almost free for the country.

India had scrapped the tender for procuring 26 Rafale combat aircraft after the UPA government laid down procedures which would have resulted in the deal being delayed for another ten years without any outcome.

The UPA government had arrived at the lowest bidder by adopting the life-cycle cost of operating the aircraft and Rafale had proven to be cheaper than the Eurofighter jets offered by a four-government consortium.

India has plans of acquiring more aircraft through a Make in India programme, in which it is inviting global manufacturers to join hands with Indian partners to produce 2,200 plus planes in India.

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Topics : #Rafale

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