India Abroad

Rafale Deal: French Govt. Parts Away From Hollande's Claims, Dassault, Says Reliance, 'Our Own Choice'

ANANYA BHATNAGAR | 1
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| September 22 , 2018 , 11:25 IST

The French Government and the Rafale manufacturer Dassault Aviation on Saturday gave clarification on the Rafale Aircraft deal between India and France.

Spokesperson of France's Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs said that the French government had no role to play in choosing partner companies in India for the purpose of offsets contracts in the Rafale deal.

The statement said, "The French government is in no manner involved in the choice of Indian industrial partners who have been, are being, or will be selected by French companies. In accordance with India's acquisition procedure, French companies have the full freedom to choose the Indian partner companies that they consider to be the most relevant, then present for the Indian government's approval the offsets projects that they wish to execute in India with these local partners so as to fulfill their obligations in this regard."

Further Rafale manufacturer Dassault Aviation also made it clear that the partnership with Reliance was their own choice, in a press statement the aircraft manufacturer said, “This is Dassault Aviation’s choice, as CEO Eric Trappier had explained in an interview published in MINT newspaper on April 17, 2018. This partnership has led to the creation of the Dassault Reliance Aerospace Ltd (DRAL) joint-venture in February 2017. Dassault Aviation and Reliance have built a plant in Nagpur for manufacturing parts for Falcon and Rafale aircraft. The Nagpur site was chosen because of the availability of land with direct access to an airport runway, an essential condition of aeronautic activities.”

The statement further read, “This contract is a government-to-government agreement. It provides for a separate contract in which Dassault Aviation commits to make compensation investments (offsets) in India worth 50% of the value of the purchase.”

Earlier on Friday, Former French President Francois Hollande told the media that Dassault Aviation was given no choice but to partner with Anil Ambani-led Reliance Defence for the offsets clause in the Rafale fighter jet deal.