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Everything you need to know about the Rafale deal controversy

Probe dismissed, RaGa cleared
1/8

Probe dismissed, RaGa cleared

The Supreme Court refused to go back on its December 14, 2018 order, rejecting a probe into the controversial Rafale deal.

It also closed a contempt case filed against Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, who had incurred the court’s wrath over allegedly attributing his chowkidar chor hai remarks to the court.

Former ministers Yashwant Sinha and Arun Shourie through activist lawyer Prashant Bhushan, had alleged that the government had pulled the plug on a 2001 deal to buy 126 jets at a lower price only to conclude a fresh deal in 2015 to buy 36 jets at a higher price.

Here is all you need to know about India's controversial fighter jet deal with France...

BCCL
Jet, set, go
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Jet, set, go

In September 2016, India inked a direct deal with the French government to purchase 36 new Rafale fighter jets in a 7.87 billion euro deal.

India will also get latest weapons like the Meteor and Scalp missiles as part of the contract, besides a five-year support package that assures high availability of the fighter. India will pay a 15% advance and deliveries are to start in three years.

Agencies
About Rafale jets
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About Rafale jets

Rafale is a twin-engine medium multi-role combat aircraft, manufactured by French company Dassault Aviation. Dassault claims Rafale has 'Omnirole' capability to perform several actions at the same time, such as firing air-to-air missiles at a very low altitude, air-to-ground, and interceptions during the same sortie.

The aircraft is fitted with an on-board oxygen generation system (OBOGS) which suppresses the need for liquid oxygen re-filling or ground support for oxygen production.

It carry out a wide range of missions: Air-defence/air-superiority, Reconnaissance, close air support dynamic targeting, Air-to-ground precision strike/interdiction, anti-ship attacks, nuclear deterrence, buddy-buddy refueling.

Agencies
Why India needs Rafale fighter jets
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Why India needs Rafale fighter jets

Many international aviation manufactures expressed interest when they got know about the Indian government's plan to revamp its IAF fleet by introducing Multi-Role Combat Aircrafts.

IAF conducted technical and flight evaluations and in 2011, declared that Rafale and Eurofighter Typhoon had met its criteria. Rafale was declared L-1 bidder in 2012 and contract negotiations began with its manufacturer, Dassault Aviation, that year. Contract negotiations remained incomplete even after 2 years, in 2014 due to a lack of agreement on various terms of RFP compliance and cost related issues. There was no deal under the UPA Government.

Transfer of Technology remained the primary issue of concern between the two sides. Dassault Aviation was also not willing to take the responsibility of quality control of production of 108 aircraft in India. While Dassault provisioned for 3 crore man hours for production of the aircraft in India, HAL's estimate was nearly 3 times higher, escalating costs manifold.

Agencies
The billion dollar deal
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The billion dollar deal

The deal was initially estimated to be worth Rs 54,000 crore. NDA government has insisted that it got significantly better terms than those quoted in the original bid under UPA, with a total reported saving of more than 1600 million Euros (350 million Euros on the cost of aircraft with a further reported saving on weapons, allied maintenance and training package amounting to a around 1300 million Euros or Rs 12,600 crores). However, a cost breakdown of Rafale in the original bid under UPA and in the 36 aircraft in the government-to-government deal under NDA are not in the public domain.

Agencies
Procurement process
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Procurement process

There was no agreement on the terms of Technology Transfer previously. What was on offer was just Licence Manufacturing technology. Under the current agreement, the 36 Rafale procurement offset proposal supports the 'Make In India' initiative of the Indian Government through Article 12 of the IGA. It states that the French Party will facilitate the implementation of 'Make In India' by the industrial supplier notably through offsets for 50% value of the supply protocol.

Agencies
Congress says deal gone haywire
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Congress says deal gone haywire

In November 2017, Congress alleged a 'huge scam’ in Rafale fighter jets deal. Saying that the contract violated the procurement procedure, the Congress party blamed the government for promoting of 'crony capitalist friends’ at the cost of a defence public sector unit, Hindustan Aeronautics LimitedNSE -1.06 %.

Congress alleged that the deal signed with France does not cater for technology transfer and has caused an 'insurmountable' loss to the exchequer. The Rafale deal has a 50 percent offset clause, a large part of which is to be executed by a joint venture company of the Anil Ambani owned Reliance Defence.

Agencies
Custom-made for India
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Custom-made for India

India has managed to negotiate the acquisition of the latest weapons package for the Rafale. These are the new weapons, beyond the standard package.

SCALP: A precision long range ground attack missile that can take out targets with extreme accuracy. Has a range of 300 km, capped by the missile technology control regime.

METEOR: A beyond visual range air to air missile that is possibly the best in its class. Can take out enemy aircraft at range of over 100 km.

Agencies
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