In late 2017 we had penned a rebuttal to the claims regarding the 2016 Rafale deal that had emerged during a particularly heated state election campaign and for a few months, it appeared as though these fictitious claims had evaporated.
However, in it is now March 2018 and sadly we are back square one and these accusations are running rampant, again occupying an inordinate amount of attention in political discussions and columns in newspapers. We would thus like to reaffirm the sheer absurdity and fallacies of these claims and hope to have a comprehensive document that can be used to refute any continued efforts to compromise our national security by undermining this deal and any subsequent deals.
Once again, we will begin by assessing the cost breakdown of the Rafale deal signed by the NDA in September 2016 for 36 units (we will use US dollars for ease of comparison but it should be noted that the deal was signed in Euros):
* an identical unit price to that paid by the French armed forces
** such costs are one off and will not be incurred for any future batches.
It should also be noted that the 2016 Rafale deal was for highly advanced versions of the Rafale (F3+) highly customised to operate in Indian conditions whereas the version being negotiated under the original MMRCA (Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft) was the F2 version minus any Indian specific upgrades.
So we can see from the above that there is no deviation from the stated figures for the deal, every single penny is accounted for.
Let’s debunk some more claims, how about the fact that India paid more than the other export customers for the Rafale.
So even though India signed its deal at a later date than the other export customers, when the INR value was significantly higher, it was able to pay less per unit than either Egypt or Qatar whilst at the same time being able to secure a 50% offsets package that will mean that the French side will invest fifty percent the value of the entire deal back into India. Additionally, the IAF (Indian Air Force) deal includes far superior jets to those of the Egyptian and Qatari air forces that are customized to Indian conditions.
Significantly, points of departure from the original MMRCA deal that the UPA had first proposed in 2008 and the NDA’s Rafale deal includes the addition of the world-class weapons systems such as the feared METEOR beyond visual air to air missile (BVRAAM), perhaps the world’s most deadly BVRAAM with a range in excess of 150km and the SCALP air-launched cruise missile (ALCM). Additionally, the NDA was able to secure 50% offsets as opposed to 30% for the MMRCA, the inclusion of a PBL and perhaps most significantly technical assistance for India’s troubled turbofan project, Kaveri.
With a fifty percent offset obligation under the NDA deal the French side will be investing almost €4 billion into India. This vast sum of money that will benefit the nation’s aerospace industry immensely and a portion of offsets will be invested in a new joint venture between DA (Dassault Aviation) and Reliance defence; DRAL (Dassault Reliance Aerospace Limited). DRAL will not only create massive job opportunities at its newly constructed greenfield facilities in Mihan but will provide a dedicated localized supply chain for the Rafale on Indian soil. Another exceptionally beneficial point is the news that DA intends to place DRAL inside its global supply chain for their world-renowned business jet, Falcon. Thus, India will be in the possession to be part of yet another globally recognized “Tier 1” supplier in the lucrative aerospace industry.
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