Friday, September 28, 2018

Amid controversy, DRAL workers quietly make plane nose cones

Nagpur: About 3km inside the Mihan-SEZ, a largely desolate area, 'DRAL' reads a signboard outside a fenced plot flanked by expanses of vacant land. DRAL stands for Dassault Reliance Aviation Limited (DRAL), the name linked with the Rafale controversy.

A shed spread over a 10,000 square feet area is the only workplace as of now. It houses the full workforce of around 50 persons engaged by DRAL. There are 8 to 10 personnel deputed from Dassault, the French joint venture partner of Reliance Aerostructure Limited (RAL), who are training the Indian staff.

The unit is initially making nose cones for Falcon, the business jet Dassault manufactures, which also makes the Rafale fighter. No work related to Rafale has begun yet, though the company has an approval to make spares for military planes as well, sources said. A month ago, letters of approval (LoA) had been secured from the ministry of commerce for two more units at the Mihan-SEZ. These include a Reliance-Thales joint venture, and another company — Reliance Components.
28/09/18 Shishir Arya/Vaibhav Ganjapure/Times of India