Dassault issues statement, says deal with Reliance was company’s own choice

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New Delhi: Amid controversy over the Rafale deal, Dassault Aviation issued a statement providing clarifications regarding the contract signed in 2016 for 36 aircraft. Confirming India’s stand on the offsets agreement between the aviation and Reliance Group, Dassault reiterated that Reliance Group was chosen in compliance with the Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) 2016 regulations.

It further clarified that although the Rafale deal was a contract between the Indian and the French governments, it provided for a separate contract in which Dassault Aviation committed to making compensation investments (offsets) in India equivalent to 50 per cent of the value of the purchase.

“This contract is a government-to-government agreement. It provides for a separate contract in which Dassault Aviation commits to make compensation investments (offsets) in India worth 50% of the value of the purchase,” the statement read.

It added, “This offsets contract is delivered in compliance with the Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) 2016 regulations. In this framework, and in accordance with the policy of Make in India, Dassault Aviation has decided to make a partnership with India’s Reliance Group. This is Dassault Aviation’s choice, as CEO Eric Trappier had explained in an interview published in MINT newspaper on April 17, 2018. This partnership has led to the creation of the Dassault Reliance Aerospace Ltd (DRAL) joint-venture in February 2017.”

The compamy further stated, “Dassault Aviation and Reliance have built a plant in Nagpur for manufacturing parts for Falcon and Rafale aircraft. The Nagpur site was chosen because of the availability of land with direct access to an airport runway, an essential condition of aeronautic activities.”

The French aviation company also said that contracts were signed with companies other than Reliance as well, as part of the offsets contract under the Rafale deal.

“Other partnerships have been signed with other companies such as BTSL, DEFSYS, Kinetic, Mahindra, Maini, SAMTEL,. Other negotiations are ongoing with hundred-odd other potential partners,” the firm divulged.

The statement by Dassault Aviation comes shortly after former French president, François Hollande, claimed that Dassault Aviation was given no choice but to partner with Anil Ambani-led Reliance Defence for the offset clause in the Rafale fighter jet deal.

The Centre, led by Prime Minister Modi, scrapped the UPA’s plan in 2015 and announced that it would buy 36 “ready-to-fly” Rafale jets instead of seeking a technology transfer from France’s Dassault Aviation and making the aircraft in India.

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