After bagging the multi-billion dollar deal for supplying 126 Rafale fighter aircraft to the IAF, French firm Dassault Aviation has asked the Defence Ministry to define the role of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited in the project.
If the contract is finalised, the first 18 aircraft would be supplied by Dassault directly to the Indian Air Force and the remaining 108 would be licence-produced at HAL facilities in Bangalore.
The French Dassault has asked the Ministry to define the role of the premier Indian aerospace company in the final delivery of the 108 aircraft to be produced in India, industry sources.
As per the IAF tender issue for the project, the primary role for integration and supply of these aircraft would be of the HAL, which is successfully working on several important fighter aircraft projects such as the Su-30MKI project.
The French company has told the Ministry that if it is given the overall responsibility for the project, it should be given the freedom to decide on the proportion of work to be done by the HAL and private companies in the programme, they said.
In that case, the firm would determine the role of the defence and security wing of a new Indian defence company in the project and a major share of work would be given to it, they said.
Soon after Dassault was declared as the lowest bidder for the MMRCA (Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft) deal pipping EAD's Eurofighter, it signed an MoU with a Reliance Industries Limited company for working together in the security sector. It is currently negotiating the deal with the Defence Ministry and the IAF.
For completing the Indian project, Dassault has also opened an Indian subsidiary company here. The company named Dassault Aircraft Services India Private Limited (DASIPL) was set up recently and it is 100 per cent owned by its French parent company, they said.