French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian met his Indian counterpart, Manohar Parrikar on Tuesday in what is being described as a "last ditch" attempt to sell 126 Dassault Rafale jets estimated at US$20 billion.
The absence of an official comment from Paris or New Delhi about the meeting has allowed speculation to gain ground about what transpired, prominent among which is that the stalemate continues. The deal has been snagged for three years over issues relating to cost and who would assume responsibility for assembly in India.
This is the second meeting between the two leaders in less than three months over the stalled deal. At the previous meeting, India had asked France to send an "empowered" delegation which could decide on lingering issues on the spot instead of bouncing decision making with Paris. Such a delegation was sent in the beginning of this year, according to sources.
A decision on the Rafale acquisition will have to wait till March for the Contract Negotiation Committee (CNC) final report, Indian Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar had said during the last week’s Aero India Airshow. The minister's statement reveals that the negotiations are far from complete. For the purchase process to move forward, the CNC's report should be forwarded to the MoD, which if approved, will be sent to the cabinet committee on security for final approval.
However, the flying down of Le Drian to New Delhi is indicative that several major issues are still to be addressed. That the CNC is taking so much time is indicative that parameters set out in the request for proposals (RFP) have not been met.
A report in an Indian newspaper, Financial Express last week throws some light on what might be wrong.
A source quoted by the paper says, ”the French company had offered 22% work share for Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) at the initial stage of negotiations, as its response to the RFP was influenced by a planned partnership with Reliance Industries, that planned to expand into aerospace and defence in 2011.
The newspaper quoted, Air Marshal (retd) M Matheswaran, senior adviser to HAL as saying, “guaranteeing HAL’s work is not the issue, but that the French are being “rigid” and refusing to stand behind the integrity of the design.
Matheswaran, who was involved in drafting the original RFP for the deal, added: “Unfortunately, the French don’t want to be accountable in any way. However, the original equipment manufacturer has to stand guarantee with respect to design and integrity of design. By constantly denying to take responsibility for production of the 108 aircraft at HAL, the French are trying to get away from the OEM’s responsibility.” Also, it is about technology transfer, which the French are loath to do."
The Chief of Staff of the Indian Air Force (IAF), Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha today asserted that the IAF needed a medium multirole combat aircraft (MMRCA) to bolster its depleting fighter levels but not necessarily the Rafale aircraft made by Dassault. In a media interaction at Aero India 2015, he said the requirement is for a MMRCA type fighter
Indian defense minister, Manohar Parrikar made it abundantly clear today that Dassault Rafale is very much in the reckoning in the Indian MMRCA contract during a press briefing at Aero India 2015 Airshow. Decision on the French fighter plane Rafale acquisition will have to wait till March for the Contract Negotiation Committee (CNC) final report, Indian Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar said
French aircraft manufacturer, Dassault is confirming to conditions laid down in the original request for proposals (RFP) in its conduct of negotiations with the contract negotiations committee (CNC) of the Indian MoD over the sale of 126 Rafale fighters. A senior Indian Air Force (IAF) officer in the know of things told Defenseworld
An Indian delegation is currently in Paris to iron out differences between Indian and French positions concerning the potential sale of 126 Dassault Rafale fighters to the Indian Air Force. The Indian Secretary of Defense Radha Krishna Mathur and a senior from Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) reached France on Monday for two days meeting to meet with their French counterparts
India wants closure on the MMRCA deal to buy 126 Dassault Rafale fighters before Prime Minister Narendra Modi visits France and Germany in April. The deal is struck over price and performance guarantee issues which the Indian MOD claims is not in compliance with the original Request for Proposals (RFP) based on which the French company was selected as the lowest bidder
India might consider acquiring four warships from Russias Yantar shipyard, which has built six frigates for the Indian Navy, Ria Novosti quoted the Shipyards chief Oleg Shumakov as saying on Wednesday. "We will explore the possibility of new orders to build [vessels] for the Indian fleet
Indian government intends to purchase 22 Harpoon missiles for Indian Navys Shishumar Class submarines from US costing an approximate $200 million, Stratpost reported today. India has so far ordered 26 missiles for the eight P-8I Long Range Maritime Reconnaissance (LRMR) aircraft at an estimated $200 million that will be integrated by Boeing and 24 missiles for the Indian Air Force (IAF) Jaguar aircraft for $170 million integrated by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL)
Delivery of 6 Pantsir-S1 Missile Systems to Serbia in 2020
Lead Russian Project 20385 Corvette Wraps Up State Trials
Indonesia Seeks Rafale Jets, Submarines, Warships in Defence Cooperation Deal with France
BAE to Buy Collins’ Military GPS, Raytheon’s Tactical Radio Businesses for $2.2B...
Algeria In Talks With Russia for a Dozen Su-57 Jets
France “Obstructing” Turkey-Eurosam Missile Defence System Project: Turkish Official
Junked Railway Rake Mistook for Indian ICBM
Turkey All But Gives up on F-35 Jet Deal, Seeks Alternatives
Several joint production and direct procurement programs could be halted if the US and Europe carry through with their threat...
Sanctions-hit Iran has found ingenious ways to develop military hardware
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is rapidly permeating the defence industry to aid and improve human decision-making
Upgrade of Russias Sukhoi Su-30SM fighters to equip them with armaments, radar, sensors and engines from the more powerful Su-35...
US companies sanctioned by China for supplying weapons to Taiwan may be denied rare earth elements (REEs), which have critical...
While the US F-35 stealth aircraft has become one the fastest selling fighter jets in the world aircraft market, thanks...