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  • BlackArcher
    Rank 5 Registered User
    • Dec 2010
    • 3825

    India pays 25% of the Rafale contract payment

    Govt. makes 25% payment for Rafale fighter jets

    New Delhi: Despite the ongoing political battle in India over the Rafale fighter jets deal, Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led NDA government at the Centre has already made 25 per cent of the payment for the same, news agency ANI quoted Indian Air Forces as saying on Thursday.

    According to ANI, the first Rafale fighter jet will be delivered as per schedule to the Indian Air Force by September 2019. The IAF source further told the news agency that the procured aircraft would undergo extensive testing by Indian pilots to assess their functioning in Indian conditions.

    This comes almost 10 days after Air Chief Marshal Birendra Singh Dhanoa said that while there was a debate in India over the issue of Rafale deal, rival countries have managed to upgrade their systems.
    Air Chief Dhanoa had said that there was no iota of doubt that Rafale jets would be a massive shot in the arm for the Indian Air Force. "Who says we don't need Rafale? The government says we need Rafale, we are saying we need Rafale, the SC has given a fine judgement," he said. "It took us so long that our adversaries have already upgraded their system. Rafale is a game changer."

    Recently, the Supreme Court had dismissed all petitions seeking the constitution of a special investigation team (SIT) to probe the Rafale deal. Refusing to intervene into the issue of pricing of the jets and the selection of offset partner, the Supreme Court observed that it was satisfied with the process of procurement of the jets.

    ..
    Even with the Supreme Court of India dismissing all petitions seeking to investigate the Rafale deal, the thoroughly corrupt Congress Party has continued with its scheme to try and malign the Modi govt. But it no longer seems to be catching much attention, as the Supreme Court's clean chit for the process followed has taken the wind out of the Congress Party's sails.


    A welcome verdict on Rafale deal

    In a landmark judgment last week, Indias Supreme Court has summarily dismissed all the petitions challenging the price and propriety of the deal involving the acquisition of 36 Rafale Fighter Jets.1 Declining the petitions, the Supreme Court bench comprising of Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi found no concrete basis for alleged irregularities in the acquisition of 36 fighter jets and noted that perception of individuals cannot form the basis for interference and as suchthere is no occasion to doubt decision-making process in the Rafale deal. In delivering the 29-page crisp judgment, the bench also noted that it is not the job of the court to deal with the comparative details of the pricing and it wields only narrow judicial ambit to probe the matters of commercial transactions.

    Although the petitioners have questioned the courts wisdom to exercise a limited judicial ambit in probing the deal, in its judgment, the honourable Court made it amply clear that the scrutiny of the challenges [before us] will have to be made keeping in mind the confines of national security , and that the subject of the (defence) procurement is crucial to the nations sovereignty. This view essentially sums-up the basis on which the Court pronounced its verdict and cleared the Rafale deal on all the three counts, namely, pricing, propriety (decision-making process), and the choice of offset partner. On close scrutiny, the view taken by the Court appears to be informed by the prudent practice of strategic procurement and can be best explained by the challenges that import-dependent countries like India face in making the acquisition choices.


    Procurement of Rafale Jets was also originally modelled along the buy & make route involving the direct purchase of 18 fighter jets and the indigenous production of the remaining 108 aircraft under license. This process was initiated by the former UPA government in June 2007, which saw inordinate delays at every stage of procurement starting from issuance of Request for Proposals (RFP) to announcement of lowest vendors, and the conclusion of ToT negotiations.4 The key hurdle encountered in this process, which the apex Court highlighted in the judgment, was the stalemate reached over ToT negotiations in which the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) demanded 2.7 times the man hours envisaged by French vendor Dassault Aviation.

    If accepted, this condition would have led to cost escalation along with and large time-delays in the production. Another issue was the Dassaults reluctance to provide guarantee for the aircrafts license manufactured by the HAL. In view of such stalemate and also due to the fact that Indias regional adversaries acquired not only 4th but even fifth-generation aircrafts, the Modi Government decided to cancel the eight-year-long RFP process and instead initiated fresh negotiations which led to announcement of new deal for direct purchase of 36 jets in a fly-away condition. The announcement of the new deal, however, triggered a volley of allegations pertaining to procedural irregularity from several members of the opposition and certain spirited citizens.5

    The critics, for instance, accused the Government of announcing the new deal well before withdrawing the RFP for the acquisition of 126 fighter jets.6 Such allegations, however, hardly had any merit and the apex Court has rightly labeled them as minor deviations which would not result in either setting aside the contract or requiring detailed scrutiny. In this context, a number of examples can be cited from the history of Indias defence acquisitions involving major procedural shifts mainly on account of national security imperatives. On several occasions, in the past, the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) had set-aside the buy & make policy preference after extensive negotiations with foreign vendors and instead opted for direct purchase of required quantities of weapons and platforms to meet the immediate requirements of the armed forces.

    Such purchases were essentially made through Foreign Military Sales (FMS) or Inter-Governmental routes with friendly countries. Although there is no comprehensive data available on Indias off-the-shelf acquisitions in war or peace times, publicly-available information can suffice to provide a qualitative assessment on procedural shifts as transpired in case of the Rafale deal. During the Kargil War, for instance, the Indian Army imported large quantities of mortar and ammunition from Israel. At the peak of the conflict, Israel also promptly provided India with laser-guided missiles for the Mirage Jets.7

    Similarly, during the peacetime, the Indian Air Force made the direct purchase of 19 Low-Level Transportable Radars (LLTR) after the failure to negotiate ToT agreement with the foreign vendor on four different occasions. To meet the immediate requirements of IAF, the DAC had accorded Acceptance of Necessity to directly import 19 LLTRs at a cost of 1272 crore in October 2005.8 The purchase of P3C-Orion and the heavy lift transport aircraft through FMS route which ran into several billions also provide good examples of Indias choices in acquiring the complex aviation platforms. While the aforementioned cases are few and may not compare well with 58000 Crore deal involving 36 Rafale Jets, these are emblematic of the complexities involved in the acquisition of advance military platforms which the critics of Rafale deal have chosen to ignore willingly or unwillingly.

    Apart from the procedural issues, the Court has also set the record straight on allegations of escalated price and the choice of offset partner in the new deal. On price issue, the judgment establishes the facts that the deal finalized by the BJP government not only delivers value for money but also displays enormous efficiency wherein the government concluded complex negotiations in a span of merely two and half years. The value for money in the deal is also evident from acquisition of a number of additional capabilities which the previous negotiations did not even envisage.9

    Similarly, on the choice of off-set partner, the Court found no substantial evidence on allegations of winner-picking by the Government and that the Reliance Defence Limited (RDL) was one of several partners along with the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO). Secondly, the RDL will not be involved in Rafale manufacture since all the 36 jets are bring bought in a fly-away condition. In this regard, the Court merely reiterated the countrys offset policy wherein the right to choose the local industry partner rests with the foreign vendor and not the Indian Government. The judgment further observed that it is neither appropriate nor within the experience of the Court to step into this arena of what is technically feasible or not.

    In conclusion therefore, by dismissing the petitions on Rafale deal, the apex Court has set an important precedent for all the future military acquisitions where vital national security interests are at stake.
    Last edited by BlackArcher; 30th December 2018, 21:58.

    Comment

    • Scooter
      Rank 5 Registered User
      • Jan 2000
      • 11757

      India should have never acquired the Rafales. If, they didn't plan on building them in large numbers. As a matter of fact India desperately needs to consolidate the number of types it operates. As to try is support the existing mix of types (Mig-29's, Mirage 2000's, Jaguars, Su-30MKI's, etc. etc.) today in any major conflict. Would be a nightmare beyond nightmare to support under combat conditions!
      F-35 Lightning II

      Comment

      • halloweene
        Rank 5 Registered User
        • Jan 2012
        • 3867

        Except if they buy a hundred more...

        Comment

        • TooCool_12f
          Rank 5 Registered User
          • Dec 2009
          • 3279

          With the offsets that are getting into place, it may become really interesting for India to buy it for its next tender, not to speak about the naval model for its navy... if it goes through, they may very well end up operating more Rafales than the French themselves. It has been said at the time that the government to government deal was made for such a small number of fighter to avoid having to go again through a lengthy process of competition and so on, as the aircraft has won the MMRCA deal... By doing so, they gave Dassault the possibility to set up the building structures as dassault sees fit, rather than try to shove HAL down their throats, idea which obviously proved impossible to achieve (and not necessarily desirable as well)

          Comment

          • BlackArcher
            Rank 5 Registered User
            • Dec 2010
            • 3825

            IAF to build 108 new next gen hardened shelters

            The Indian Air Force (IAF) will imminently begin constructing 108 Next-Generation Hardened Aircraft Shelters (NGHASs) for its fighter fleet at several of its bases in northeastern India, close to the countrys border with China.

            Official sources told Janes on 7 January that the NGHASs, which will be made of concrete and cost an estimated total of INR55 billion (USD788 million), will be built at Tezpur, Chabua, and Hasimara to protect IAF fighters such as the Sukhoi Su-30MKI as well as 18 of the 36 Rafale combat aircraft New Delhi ordered from France in 2016.

            Senior IAF officers said the new hangars are designed to protect the fighters even from a direct hit by a 2,000 lb bomb, and are to be fitted with iron doors to minimise the chances of fragmentation damage to the platforms from a missile strike.

            ..

            Comment

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