Rafale deals will also be under govt to govt: Manohar Parrikar

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New Delhi | Published: April 13, 2015 8:52:48 PM

India today said all future negotiations for purchase of French Rafale fighters would be through government to government route, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar...

Rafale deal, Rafale deal news, Rafale deal latest, indian air force, IAF, narendra modi, narendra modi rafale deal, Rafale deal IAF, Rafale deal Indian air force, Manohar Parrikar, Manohar Parrikar on rafale deal, Manohar Parrikar rafale deal, economy newsNoting that negotiations had entered into a ?loop? or a ?vortex? with no solution in sight, Manohar Parrikar said direct negotiations with France will now decide how much more Rafale aircraft has to be bought and whether it will be under ?Make in India? programme. (PTI)

India today said all future negotiations for purchase of French Rafale fighters would be through government to government route, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said today, discarding direct talks with manufacturers.

The disclosure came two days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced purchase of 36 Rafale fighter aircraft in fly-away condition from the French government directly, sidestepping a gruelling three-year negotiations for the Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft(MMRCA) tender.

While initially the tender was valued at about USD 10 billion for 126 aircraft, the current price is estimated to be over USD 20 billion, over which India had serious reservations.

Noting that negotiations had entered into a “loop” or a “vortex” with no solution in sight, Parrikar said direct negotiations with France will now decide how much more Rafale aircraft has to be bought and whether it will be under ‘Make in India’ programme.

The Minister refrained from giving a direct reply to questions whether the requirement of Air Force for more MMRCA will be through Rafale or if any other player can come into action.

“Scope was only possible in Government to Government deal. Instead of going through the Request for Proposal (RFP) route where there was lot of confusion and chaos, it was decided that we will go through the G2G route,” he said explaining that 36 Rafale jets would be procured in ready-to- fly condition.

He said what has to be done about the rest would de decided after discussions between the two governments.

Asked what it means to the eight-year-old tender process for MMRCA, for which Rafale was shortlisted, Parrikar said it has not been decided yet.

“But if this (G2G) route is followed, obviously, one car cannot travel on two different roads. There were a lot of problems on that (tender) road.

That is why we have adopted the procedure of direct government to government,” he said briefing reporters at South Block.

Replying to another query if future deals on Rafale would also be through G2G route, Parrikar said, “All deal(s) will be in G2G only. The 36 are in fly-away condition which means they will be manufactured by the company in France and supplied in fly away conditions”.

Under the MMRCA contract, while 18 aircraft were to be bought off the shelf, 108 were to be manufactured by state-run Hindustan Aeronautics Limited under a license from Dassault Aviation, the manufacturers of Rafale.

Though Rafale was shortlisted in 2012 after a five-year tending process, a final contract could not be signed due to differences over two issues – pricing and Dassault’s reluctance to stand guarantee for planes manufactured by HAL.

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