Friday, September 14, 2018

Poor health of HAL led to collapse of Rafale deal under UPA: Nirmala Sitharaman

The negotiations for procurement of 126 Rafale jets under the UPA government fell through as state-run HAL did not have the required capability to produce the jets in India in collaboration with French company Dassault Aviation, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said Thursday.
Sitharaman also said that an unprecedented intervention in 2013 by then Defence Minister A K Antony when the cost negotiation committee was giving final touches to the deal put the final nail in the coffin.
After rounds of negotiations with Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL), Dassault Aviation felt that the cost of the Rafale jets will escalate significantly if they were to be produced in India, she said during an interaction with PTI editors and reporters at the agency's headquarters here.
"Dassault could not progress in the negotiations with HAL because if the aircraft were to be produced in India, a guarantee for the product to be produced was to be given. It is a big ticket item and the IAF would want the guarantee for the jets. HAL was in no position to give the guarantee," she said.
13/09/18 PTI/Economic Times

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