The work share between the state owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and the French Dassault Aviation for the `Rafale’ aircraft was never agreed upon, claim highly placed sources. Dismissing the statement attributed to former CMD of HAL T Suvarna Raju, as factually incorrect, sources said that, “HAL was a member of the Contract Negotiations Committee of the Ministry of Defence (MoD). There were many major areas of disagreement between HAL and the Dassault Aviation.”
The 126 MMRCA could not progress as there were major disagreements between both HAL and Dassault Aviation. This was brought to the notice of MoD in a letter dated October 2012, by the HAL highlighting the disagreements pertaining to the work share between them.
In another letter dated July 2014, HAL in its letter to MoD also highlighted one major unresolved issue regarding responsibility sharing between M/S DA and HAL for licence Manufacture of aircraft. In the same letter the man hours required for manufacture of various components of the aircraft in HAL was also a point of disagreement between the two. “The claim about lower Life Cycle Cost made by the former HAL chief is completely presumptive”, said the source.
In a report published by Hindustan Times on Thursday, the former CMD claimed that the HAL could have built Rafale fighters in India had the government managed to close the original negotiations with Dassault and had actually signed a work-share contract with the French company.