In what is deemed as a huge success under Modi-led government, the latter negotiated the Rafale jet agreement with the French Aircraft manufacturer and more importantly, it managed to save a whopping Rs 12,600 crore when compared to deal value offered by the earlier UPA government, a report said.
This potential savings include a deal value of 36 Rafale aircraft and reduced cost in maintenance and training cost, as reported by the Times of India.
Congress also questioned the deal struck by the NDA government alleging that overall cost for acquiring the French fighter escalated a bit high as compared to the estimated cost during the previous UPA government. Also, the opposition added that cost per aircraft rose from Rs 526 crore to Rs 1,570 crore and also alleged that the government was worried over sharing data.
The details revealed to TOI by sources reads, “if aircraft procurement is compared in flyaway condition, the agreement inked by NDA fared better than the one proposed by the previous government.”
“Under the 126-aircraft contract contemplated by UPA, 18 aircraft were to be delivered in flyaway condition. NDA’s reworked contract is for 36 aircraft in flyaway condition. UPA was getting 18 fighters for around 100 million each and the cost now is around 90 million per fighter,” sources said.
The government added that Dassault Aviation, the makers of Rafale was unwilling to take responsibility for quality control of production for the 108 aircraft in India under terms that was negotiated by UPA.
“While Dassault provisioned for 3 crore man-hours for production in India, HAL’s (Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd) estimate was three times higher, escalating costs manifold,” said told TOI.
Sources also disclosed that under the current deal, the inter-governmental agreement states the French company will help in executing ‘Make in India’ by the industrial supplier, mainly through offsets for 50% value of the supply protocol.
Chief of Indian Air Force, Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa, echoed that there was “no overpricing” in the Rafale purchase as the government had “negotiated a very good” agreement with the French company.
“It is not overpricing … We have negotiated for 36 French fighter aircraft Rafale (at a price) lower than that in the contract. The government has negotiated a very good deal,” Dhanoa said.