Tuesday, May 11, 2021
Home Fact-Check Rafale deal: Rahul Gandhi's flimsy allegations don't stand the test of facts

Rafale deal: Rahul Gandhi’s flimsy allegations don’t stand the test of facts

In an earlier article this author had traced the entire timeline of the Rafale deal since 2004 and highlighted that since 2013, Dassault was unwilling to own responsibility for aircrafts manufactured by HAL. This had become a deal breaker at that time.

In view of the above, the following facts about the final Rafale deal stand out against allegations being levelled by the opposition.

Allegation 1:

  • Price of the deal is not disclosed

Facts:

  • Total deal value is already in the public domain and reported in most mainstream media publications including Business Insider, Times of India, Reuters to name just a few
  • India has paid €7.8 billion for 36 aircraft from France in ready to induct (fly-away) condition
  • The only aspect not disclosed is the line item break-up of pricing. It is absolutely reasonable to not disclose what features, capabilities and weapon systems are bought by Indian Air Force

Allegation 2:

  • Deal price is three times higher than what previous government (UPA) had negotiated

Facts:

  • India’s deal value is fully in-line with or lower than what other countries have paid
  • Qatar deal is €7 billion for 24 aircraft = €292 million per aircraft (Rs. 2495 crore)
  • Egypt deal is €5.2 billion for 24 aircrafts = €217 million per aircraft (Rs. 1850 crore)
  • India deal is €7.8 billion for 36 aircrafts = €217 million per aircraft (Rs. 1850 crore)

(INR values in brackets are based on Euro to INR conversion rate on 26 Sep 2018 – intended for deal comparison purpose)

  • Meanwhile, this 18 seconds video shows that on four different occasions, Mr. Gandhi has quoted that UPA could have bought Rafale for
    • 520 crores
    • 526 crores
    • 540 crores
    • 700 crores
  • Numbers from Qatar and Egypt deals prove that prices quoted by Mr. Gandhi are unrealistic. Price of fully loaded aircraft depends on what features and capabilities are added on top of the base aircraft
  • UPA is comparing the price of “base aircraft” (500 crores) with “fully loaded” version with all add-on features, capabilities and weapon systems (1800 crore)
  • If other countries are spending in the range of 2000 crore per aircraft and UPA could really get the planes for 500 crores – why didn’t they?

Allegation 3:

  • The government replaced HAL by Reliance

Facts:

  • HAL was supposed to manufacture 108 planes in India, which is not part of the deal anymore. All 36 planes are coming in fly away conditions, hence there is no role for HAL. Even during UPA, the main roadblock was that Dassault did not want to partner with HAL for the manufacture of the remaining aircrafts.
  • Reliance is supplying components to Dassault as part of the offset clause – not manufacturing planes. There are 72 offset partners in total. 
  • Both these organizations are addressing different parts of the deal and are not a replacement for each other

Allegation 4:

  • Reliance has no plane manufacturing experience

Facts:

  • That’s true, but it’s not needed
  • Dassault will manufacture all 36 planes and send them in fly-away condition. Reliance does not need to manufacture planes
  • Reliance is only supplying components to Dassault. It is one among the 72 Indian companies selected as suppliers by Dassault as part of the offset clause. The list of Indian suppliers includes Tata, Mahindra, L&T, Godrej among others – the full list is accessible here

Allegation 5:

  • Reliance has no defence experience

Facts:

  • Reliance Defence and Engineering was formed by taking over Pipavav Defence
  • Technology, capability and experience in defence sector already exists and was acquired under a new company name
  • The decision to buy components from Reliance is Dassault’s not government’s
  • For a defence and commercial aircraft company like Dassault, the business depends on reputation – they cannot afford to deliver sub-standard products to win some small deals just because some government asked them to
  • Since 2013, Dassault wasn’t willing to own responsibility for planes manufactured by HAL due to quality constraints and was willing to let go of the entire deal with 126 aircrafts
  • Why would they agree to procure from Reliance for a small 36 plane deal, if Reliance was not capable?
  • Dassault has already clarified about their differences with HAL since 2013 and their reasons for including Reliance on the list of Indian suppliers

Other glaring holes in scam theory:

As far as allegations of scam are concerned, so far Mr Gandhi has called Rafale as a –

    • 36 thousand crore scam
    • 40 thousand crore scam
    • 58 thousand crore scam
    • 1 lakh 30 thousand crore scam

  • All this in a deal whose total value is only 59 thousand crores
  • and 50% of which is set to be invested back in Indian companies as part of the offset

Unless Mr Gandhi knows something about making more money in scams than the deal value itself, the whole “scam” allegation is a concoction of misrepresented facts and randomly thrown around numbers.

Broader perspective:

  • Indian Air Force needs 42 squadrons of fighter jets for effective defence across borders
  • By 2014, it was down to only 25 squadrons
  • With more MiG planes retiring, IAF will reduce to only 11 squadrons of active fighter jets by 2024

In this alarming scenario, where the strength of Indian Air Force has been rapidly diluting, UPA government just sat on the deal during their two terms of 10 years. 

After coming to power in 2014, NDA government closed the deal quickly to procure finest fighter jets for Indian Air Force. Additionally, in 4 years Mr. Modi’s government has also strengthened India’s local defence manufacturing capability through multiple collaborations under “Make in India” –

  • Hanwha-Techwin (HTW) of South Korea in collaboration with India’s Larsen & Toubro (L&T) is manufacturing K9 Self-Propelled VAJRA-T9 Artillery guns in Hazira, Gujarat
  • Boeing (USA) in collaboration with India’s Tata Aerospace Ltd is manufacturing fuselages for AH-64 Apache military helicopters in Hyderabad
  • Boeing (USA) has collaborated with India’s HAL and Mahindra Defence for manufacturing F/A-18 Fighter Jets in Bengaluru
  • Saab (Sweden) has offered to manufacture Gripen fighter jets in India with Adani
  • Lockheed Martin (USA) has offered to manufacture F-16 fighter jets in India with Tata
  • Lockheed Martin has also offered to manufacture third generation Javelin missiles in India
  • Russia is in the final stages of manufacturing Kalashnikov Assault Rifles in India

Modi government needs to be applauded for swift decision making in not only procuring the best equipment for Indian Forces but also rapidly developing the local defence manufacturing capability in India.

  Support Us  

Whether NDTV or 'The Wire', they never have to worry about funds. In name of saving democracy, they get money from various sources. We need your support to fight them. Please contribute whatever you can afford

Shashank Goyal
IIM-A alumnus, Software Sales Professional, Writes about business, economy and politics; Passionate about numbers, facts and analysis Tweets @shashankgoyal01

Related Articles

Trending now

Cartoonist gets Twitter notice for a caricature of Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray: Details

The cartoonist took to Twitter to share the copy of the notice he received from the legal department of the microblogging website.

Class privilege at its worst: Farhan Akhtar defends receiving vaccine at center where only senior citizens and specially abled above 45 are eligible

Farhan Akhtar announced that he had received his first Covid-19 vaccine dose at the Andheri Sports Complex in Mumbai.

Twitter restores official handle of Lieutenant Governor office of Jammu and Kashmir Manoj Sinha after govt steps in

The spokesman for the Government of India has said that the account has been suspended due to some technical issues

The Liberal ‘Ummah’: How the community stays quiet when one of them is a rapist

This is how the liberal ‘ummah’ works. They will look out for each other even if it goes against everything they claim they stand for.

Dogecoin: All you need to know about the cryptocurrency based on a meme

On crypto data tracker CoinGecko.com, Dogecoin jumped more than 800% over the last month and is now the fourth-largest digital currency, with a market capitalization of $73 billion.

How the Army rose to the occasion to help the nation fight COVID-19, but once the crisis is over, a Herculean task awaits the...

The Indian army is currently running three major hospitals in Delhi, two of them dedicated to COVID-19, but once the crisis is over, a task awaits

Recently Popular

As Netizens trend #ArrestMunmunDutta, the actor apologises, says she was misinformed and did not intend to use casteist slur: Details

Actor Munmun Dutta, most famously known for playing the character of 'Babita Ji in 'Taarak Mehta ka Ooltah Chasmah', today posted a statement on Twitter, apologising

BMC chief explains why it is not the Modi govt but the states that need to be blamed for the oxygen crisis

BMC chief said that mismanagement of states is responsible for the oxygen crisis and increased number of SOS calls

Yogendra Yadav was aware of the rape of a woman by AAP leaders at the Tikri border ‘farmer’ protest site: Report

A report published in Dainik Bhaskar says that Yogendra Yadav was intimately aware of the sexual assault of a woman at the Tikri protest site and yet he remained tight-lipped about the incident

‘Dominance of one religious group cannot prevent religious celebrations of other’, says Madras HC after local Muslims object to Hindu procession

The Madras High court concluded that similar acts of 'resistance' by other religious groups would result in loss of lives, destruction of properties, riots, religious fights and chaos.

Iran: 20 year old youth Alireza Fazeli Monfared beheaded by half brother, cousins for being gay

Alireza Fazeli Monfared, a 20 year old Iranian youth, was murdered by his brother and cousins due to his sexual orientation.

Twitter restores official handle of Lieutenant Governor office of Jammu and Kashmir Manoj Sinha after govt steps in

The spokesman for the Government of India has said that the account has been suspended due to some technical issues
- Advertisement -

 

Connect with us

254,903FansLike
541,103FollowersFollow
24,300SubscribersSubscribe