Rafale deal
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Dassault Aviation has issued clarification after latest reports indicate that the firm had considered signing Reliance Defence because it was 'imperative and mandatory' to bag the Rafale jets contract.
Dassault Aviation has issued clarification after latest reports indicate that the firm had considered signing Reliance Defence because it was 'imperative and mandatory' to bag the Rafale jets contract.
In the statement released in early hours on Thursday, the aviation major said that, ‘Dassault Aviation has freely chosen to make a partnership with India’s Reliance Group. This joint-venture, Dassault Reliance Aerospace Ltd (DRAL), was created February 10, 2017.’
 
The statement reiterated that Dassault Aviation sold 36 Rafale aircraft to India ‘within the framework of the September 2016 Inter-Government Agreement between France and India.’
 
The clarification also said that ‘Other partnerships have been signed with other companies such as BTSL, DEFSYS, Kinetic, Mahindra, Maini, SAMTEL,… Other negotiations are ongoing with a hundred-odd other potential partners.’
 
Dassault Aviation’s statement comes amid fresh twist in the Rafale row. On Wednesday, a media report claimed that an internal report of French aerospace major Dassault Aviation has shown the firm had considered signing Reliance Defence was 'imperative and mandatory' to bag the Rafale jets contract.
 
The claim has been made in the investigative report by the French publication ‘Mediapart’.
 
Two years after signing the contract of sale of Rafale to India, the ultra-modern plant planned by the joint - venture of Dassault with its Indian partner Reliance comes down to a building that looks like a warehouse. While a new complaint was filed in New Delhi, a document obtained by Mediapart shows that Dassault considered this alliance as a "counterpart", "imperative and mandatory", to get the market," said Mediapart in its report.
 
The Rs 60,000-crore Rafale deal is embroiled in the controversy since the stunning claim by former French President Francois Hollande that it was the Indian government that had asked him to make Reliance Defence as the offset partner. The claim sparked a bitter war of words between ruling BJP and the Congress.
 
The Oppoistion has been demanding answer form the Narendar Modi government as to why a Anil Ambani’s rookie company was selected in place of the HAL. The government has responded by saying that there were delivery issues and it was actually the UPA government that had dropped the HAL. 
 
On Wednesday, the Supreme Court also asked the government to give the details in the Rafale deal. However, the top court has steered clear of the pricing issue.