This video shows you that Deals In Defence.
Will France, a dependable ally, give a push to the Indo-French defence ties and move beyond buyer seller relationship during the visit of President Emmanuel Macron to India? Though a dependable partner for decades, India and France are yet to realise optimum potential.
With about a year to go for the next general election in 2019, the political decibel over the multi billion dollar deal with France, for 36 Rafale fighters, is rising every day in India. The deal is being tarnished or defended depending on political convenience.
Controversy has surrounded most large defence acquisitions, since India signed the Bofors artillery gun deal during the 1980s. The alleged scam— involving pay-offs to middlemen to acquire Bofors guns—continues to reverberate in Indian politics, pursued by the investigating agency and litigations in the courts time and again. India’s acquisitions of submarines from Germany and France as well as some purchases from Israel have also been involved in corruption allegations.
The Rafale story is different in some ways. Six well-known global aircraft manufacturers bid to bag the contract of 126 Medium Range Multirole Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) fighter jets, dubbed as the largest ever defence procurement by India. The initial bidders were Lockheed Martin’s F-16s, Boeing’s F/A-18s, Eurofighter Typhoon, Russia’s MiG-35, Sweden’s Saab’s Gripen and Dassault’s Rafale. The French manufacturer bagged the contract but the deal got stuck in negotiations over price and guarantees for the 108 aircraft that were meant to be produced in India by the public sector Hindustan Aeronautics, in collaboration with Dassault.
With the stalemate seemingly endless, in 2016, India concluded an Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) with France for the purchase of 36 Rafale fighter jets at a cost of EUR 7.87 billion. The delivery is expected to begin in 2019. This deal does not involve any manufacture in India as all 36 would be supplied in fly away condition.
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Post time: 03-10-2018