Thursday, October 25, 2018

Rafale row: Dassault Aviation CEO says choice of going with Anil Ambani’s Reliance Defence was company’s own

French aircraft maker Dassault Aviation on Friday said the choice of going with Anil Ambani's Reliance Defence for a partnership to manufacture parts for its Rafale aircraft was its own.

In an exclusive chat with CNBC-TV18 in Paris, Dassault CEO Éric Trappier said, "Choice of going with Reliance was ours... Thought Reliance was the best bet who could deliver what we wanted."

India signed a deal with Dassault in 2016 for the transfer of 36 Rafale jets in flyaway condition but the deal has since faced criticism from opposition parties who allege wrongdoing in one of the biggest defense deals India has seen in recent times.

The controversy flared up further after newswire AFP reported that former French President Francois Hollande said that France "did not choose Reliance in any way".

The Paris-based Dassault Aviation is a designer and builder of the Rafale, a twin- engine multirole fighter that performs all types of combat missions for both air forces and naval air arms.

With regards to the discussions with state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), Trappier said they "were in active discussion with both Reliance Defence and HAL" and that "HAL was aware of the negotiations with Reliance Defence".
25/10/18 Rituparna Bhuyan/CNBC TV18