NEW DELHI: Dassault Aviation, the maker of Rafale fighter jets, mentioned on Wednesday evening that it had “freely chosen to make a partnership with India’s Reliance Group”. The Rafale-maker’s clarification got here in response to a French media web site declare that Dassault Aviation was offered with no choice however to tie up with Anil Ambani-led Reliance Defence as the principle offsets companion within the Rs 59,000-crore contract for 36 jets.
“Within the framework of the September 2016 Inter-Government Agreement between France and India, Dassault Aviation has sold 36 Rafale aircraft to India. In compliance with the Indian regulations (Defence Procurement Procedure) and as frequent with such a contract, Dassault Aviation has committed to offsets in India worth 50% of the value of the purchase. To deliver some of these offsets, Dassault Aviation has decided to create a joint venture. Dassault Aviation has freely chosen to make a partnership with India’s Reliance Group. This joint-venture, Dassault Reliance Aerospace Ltd (DRAL), was created February 10, 2017,” Dassault mentioned in a press launch.
“Other partnerships have been signed with other Companies such as BTSL, DEFSYS, Kinetic, Mahindra, Maini, SAMTEL,… Other negotiations are ongoing with hundred-odd other potential partners,” the assertion added.
French investigative web site Mediapart, which final month quoted former French President François Hollande as claiming the Indian authorities had nearly thrust Reliance Defence as offsets companion on France, on Wednesday mentioned it had a Dassault doc proving the identical. The report got here at the same time as defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman left for a three-day go to to France on Wednesday evening.
Mediapart claimed the doc confirmed the alliance with Reliance Defence was certainly offered as “a trade-off” to acquire the contract, quoting a presentation made by Dassault’s deputy chief govt officer Loik Segalen to the corporate’s workers representatives in Nagpur.
The French authorities and Dassault promptly rebutted Hollande’s declare final month. The Indian defence ministry, too, dismissed the controversy as “unnecessary”, sustaining it had by no means urged any firm’s identify because the offsets companion within the deal.
Rejecting Rahul Gandhi’s allegation of corruption towards Prime Minister Narendra Modi within the Rafale deal, the BJP on Thursday accused the Congress chief of “lying through his teeth shamelessly” and indulging in “politics of misinformation” to construct his political profession.