Indian MoD and Dassault Aviation may have arrived to an understanding regarding the guaranteeing, costs and man hour issues in the $20 billion Indian MMRCA deal to buy 126 Rafale fighter jets for the Indian Air Force.
This follows a meeting yesterday between French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian and his Indian counterpart, Manohar Parrikar.
“The major issues dealing with guaranteeing the quality of Dassault Rafale aircraft produced in India is being discussed. Man hours and the cost issues are now between Dassault and Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) to sort out and will be reflected in the report of the Cost Negotiating Committee,” NDTV quoted a senior Defense Ministry Official as saying today.
“Dassault will be provided an option of physically inspecting the jets and guaranteeing the quality. Dassault may also ask for counter-guarantee from HAL on the process and quality of inputs,” the official told the news channel.
Dassault estimates that the jets can be produced faster and with fewer man hours than calculated by HAL that will keep the cost of procurement low. However Dassault is hesitant to guarantee the quality of the jets produced in India as it does not control the process in India.
Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) has countered Dassault’s claim that Indian labor isn't as productive as in France and also, the level of automation here is less.