Dassault wants Rafale for India, sees no past scandal

Asserting there is ‘no scandal’ in the Rafale deal with India, Dassault Aviation, Wednesday said it was also in the race for 110 aircraft for the Indian Air Force, for which the government had floated an RFI last year.

The RFI (Request for Information) or initial tender for the deal was issued by IAF on 6 April 2018, the first mega procurement initiative for fighter jets.

This was after the government scrapped the process to acquire 126 Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) around six years ago. 

There is no scandal in the Rafale deal. We are going to deliver 36 aircraft. If the Government of India wants more aircraft, we will be pleased to deliver.

There is also an RFI for 110 aircraft and we are in the race because we feel Rafale is the best aircraft and we have our footprint here in India. So we feel confident here in India,” Dassault Aviation CEO Eric Trappier told Indian reporters.

The Rafale deal controversy is a political controversy in India related to the purchase of 36 multirole fighter aircraft for a price estimated at €7.8 billion by the Defence Ministry of India from France’s Dassault Aviation. The origin of the deal lies in the Indian MRCA competition, a multi-billion dollar contract to supply 126 multi-role combat aircraft to the Indian Air Force (IAF). During the ensuing political battle, politicians alleged that the price almost doubled from the original $10 million per plane.

On Rahul Gandhi’s charge that Rafale prices had escalated during NDA rule compared to UPA rule, Trappier said both nations made a rebate of about nine percent compared to the original pricing.

The CAG report saying that the Rafale pricing was 2.8 percent cheaper during NDA rule compared to UPA’s showed that the pricing was better, Trappier said.