Rafale aircraft deal: To get contract, deal with Reliance was a condition, says Dassault official

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Written by Sushant Singh
| London |

Updated: October 11, 2018 7:14:48 am


Rafale aircraft deal: To get contract, deal with Reliance was a condition, says Dassault official  Rafale aircraft deal: To get contract, deal with Reliance was a condition, says Dassault official france syria airstrik kuma Anil Ambani’s Reliance Defence grew to become a part of the offset programme of the Rs 59,000-crore Rafale deal via DRAL during which it holds a 51% stake. Dassault Aviation holds 49% stake in DRAL. (File)

FRENCH newsportal Mediapart has reported that a prime official of Dassault Aviation defined to his workers in May 2017 that the agency’s three way partnership with Anil Ambani’s Reliance group for discharging offsets within the 36-Rafale deal was a “condition”, “imperative and obligatory” to win the deal for 36 Rafale aircraft from India.

Mediapart mentioned it had obtained an inside doc which exhibits that Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Dassault Aviation Loïk Segalen mentioned on May 11, 2017 throughout a presentation of the three way partnership Dassault Reliance Aerospace Ltd (DRAL) from Nagpur: “It was imperative and obligatory for Dassault Aviation, to accept this condition, in order to obtain the export contract for Rafale from India”.

Dassault has maintained that “in accordance with the policy of Make in India, Dassault Aviation has decided to make a partnership with India’s Reliance Group” and that “it is Dassault Aviation’s choice, as CEO Eric Trappier had explained in an interview”.

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Segalen’s remarks echo what Francois Hollande, the French President when the deal for 36 Rafale aircraft was signed between India and France, had advised Mediapart. “It was the Indian government that proposed this service group (Reliance), and Dassault who negotiated with Ambani. We didn’t have a choice, we took the interlocutor who was given to us,” Hollande was quoted as having mentioned.

Hollande was responding to The Indian Express report referred to by Mediapart that Ambani’s Reliance leisure had co-produced a French movie with his associate, Julie Gayet, when India and France have been negotiating the Rafale deal. “That’s why, on the other hand, this group (Reliance) did not have to give me any thanks for anything. I couldn’t even imagine that there was any connection to a film by Julie Gayet,” Hollande had mentioned.

Responding to this, the federal government had mentioned it performed “no role” and that “unnecessary controversies” have been being created. Late final month, the Defence Ministry invoked “issues of conflict of interest involving persons close to the former President (Hollande)”.

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The authorities, the assertion mentioned, “had no role in the selection of Reliance Defence as the Offset partner” and that “as per Defence Offset Guidelines, the foreign Original Equipment Manufacturer is free to select any Indian company as its offset partner”.

Ambani’s Reliance Defence grew to become a part of the offset programme of the Rs 59,000-crore Rafale deal via DRAL during which it holds a 51% stake. Dassault Aviation holds 49% stake in DRAL. In October 2017, Dassault CEO Eric Trappier had introduced an funding of 100 million euros within the DRAL manufacturing unit deliberate at Nagpur, which was scheduled to begin manufacturing in 2018.

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This was after Trappier and Ambani laid the muse stone for the Nagpur manufacturing unit within the presence of then French Defence Minister Florence Parly; Roads and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari; Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis and Ambassador of France to India Alexandre Ziegler.

The deal for 36 Rafale aircraft in a government-to-government settlement was introduced by the PM on April 10, 2015 throughout his go to to Paris which led to the cancellation of the 126 aircraft deal being negotiated by the earlier authorities. The deal was signed on September 23, 2016 in Delhi between then Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and his French counterpart.

Under the offsets clause, France is to take a position 50 per cent of the overall order price in native contracts in India, value Rs 30,000 crore. The offset obligations of the deal are to be discharged from September 2019 to September 2023, as per the contract.

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