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Sunday, May 31, 2015

126 ‪#Rafale‬ fighter jets Deal with France Scrapped



‪#‎Indian‬ ‪#‎Defense‬ ‪#‎Minister‬ ‪#‎ManoharParrikar‬ Terming the UPA's proposed deal for 126 ‪#‎Rafale‬ fighter jets as "economically unviable" and not required. Parrikar has said the ‪#‎NDA‬
government will buy only 36 of the ‪#‎French‬ ‪#‎aircraft‬, to be used for strategic purposes, and no more.
Parrikar also raised questions on the tendering process initiated by former Defence Minister A K Antony and said his predecessor had "hammered" the tender in such a way that the Rafale deal would have never seen the light of the day. Rejecting criticism from the Congress that ‪#‎PrimeMinister‬
‪#‎NarendraModi‬ had bypassed the Finance Ministry and the Defence Acquisition Council, the apex body of the Defence Ministry that takes the call on military projects, Parrikar said "the deal is yet to be inked" and they should hold their horses till the process was complete.
The Modi government has scrapped the over USD 20 billion deal for 126 Rafales more than three years after Dassault was declared the lowest bidder under UPA's tenure. During his visit to France last month, the Prime Minister announced the decision to buy 36 of these jets in a fly-away condition under a government-to-government (G2G) contract. Parrikar underlined that the decision to acquire 36 Rafales came in view of the "urgent requirement" of Indian Air Force.
"We are not buying the rest. We are only buying the direct 36," Parrikar told PTI when asked what will happen to rest of the requirement. He said that the UPA deal for 126 Rafales was way too expensive and it would have hampered other modernisation plans of the Indian military. The deal would have required around Rs 1.3 lakh crore over a period of 10-11 years, he added. "Would there be any money for any other work?" he asked. "I also feel like having a BMW and Mercedes. But I don't because I can't afford it. First I can't afford it and second I don't need it. So, 126 Rafales was economically unviable. It was not required," Parrikar said