defence rafale deal
France, the only major Western country not to impose sanctions on India after the 1998 Pokhran-II tests, already has three big defence projects with India – the Rs 23,562-crore for Scorpene submarines, the Rs 10,947-crore upgrade of Mirage-2000s and the Rs 6,600-crore acquisition of MICA missile systems. Now, it has bagged the Rafale deal.
by M K Shukla
HE selection of Dassault Rafale to meet the Indian Air Force’s requirement of a Medium Multirole Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) was deliberately kept as low key as the short-listing of Rafale and Eurofighter. The objective was clearly not to attract too much attention to the deal in the middle of critical assembly elections, where the Congress Party had entered the arena with clear indictment of its role in disbursement of highly profitable 2G contracts.
But the MMRCA story did attract attention because of the twists in the final capping process, starting from the Request for Information (RFI) to the Request for Proposal (RFP), and from short listing to the final selection.
To begin with, Rafale was not even a participant in the original RFI issued in 2001. At a later stage in March 2006, Rafale was accommodated as a replacement for the Mirage.
Secondly, proposals of various contenders containing offsets were found on the pavements of Khel Gaon (Asiad Village) in the Capital in January 2011...readmore