Before Anil Ambani’s firm, Mukesh Ambani’s RIL tried to seal the Rafale deal?
Amidst the political warfare over Rafale deal, a new report by Economic Times had made some revelations. According to the report, before Anil Ambani’s firm came into the picture over Rafale deal, his elder brother, Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries ltd. tried to enter the agreement.
The newspaper stated that Mukesh Ambani was in talks with the UPA government and wanted to be a private key player in the Rafale deal, however, RIL later on took a step back as the company decided to withdrew from the defence and aerospace business after 2014.
According to the original deal, Dassault Aviation, the French manufacturer of Rafale fighter jets, had planned to invest over Rs 1 lakh crore in offset obligations, the report mentioned.
As of now, Mukesh Ambani’s RIL and Dassault Aviation have not reacted on the report yet.
In September 2016, Modi Government entered a pact with the French government to purchase 36 new Rafale fighter jets. Rafale deal was worth 7.87 billion euro. Besides Rafale fighter jets, under the direct deal, India will also get latest weapons like the Meteor and Scalp missiles. The deal also includes a five-year support package that assures high availability of the fighter.
An additional clause was also a part of the Rafale deal, according to which France will invest 30 per cent of the 7.8 billion Euros in India’s military aeronautics-related research programmes and 20 per cent into local production of Rafale components
For Rafale deal, India will pay a 15 per cent advance of the total amount and deliveries will start in three years. In 2012, the Rafale was chosen over rival offers from the United States, Europe and Russia.
But what is so special about Rafale jets? The twin-engine Rafale combat jet is a multi-role fighter. Rafale jets are eligible for air-to-air and air-to-ground attack and are nuclear-capable. Rafale Jets have on-board Electronic Warfare (EW) systems can and they can also perform reconnaissance and radar jamming roles.
In 2016, Congress accused the government of causing “insurmountable loss” of taxpayers’ money by signing the deal worth Rs 58,000 crores. The Congress also alleged that the cost of each aircraft is three times more than what the previous UPA had negotiated with France in 2012.
Congress also further claimed that the Anil Ambani-led Reliance Defence Limited had been picked with biasness to be the French firm’s Indian partner.
Meanwhile, talking in favour of Rafale deal, Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa said on Wednesday stressing the need to enhance air capabilities.
The Indian Air Force is facing a depleting fleet and the fighter squadrons are down to 31. Each squadron has 18 fighter aircraft.
“Even with 42 squadrons we will be below the combined strength of Pakistan and China,” Dhanoa said speaking at a seminar on IAF’s force structure 2035, as he talked in favour of the Rafale deal.
Source:- DNA India