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RAFALE Aircraft

RAFALE Aircraft

The Rafale is a twin-jet fighter aircraft able to operate from both an aircraft carrier and a shore base. The fully versatile Rafale is able to carry out all combat aviation missions: air superiority and air defense, close air support, in-depth strikes, reconnaissance, anti-ship strikes and nuclear deterrence.

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Controversy of the Rafale Deal

Lack of Transparency:
  • People are worried because governments are now doing deals directly instead of going through open tenders like they used to.
  • The breakdown of costs for the Rafale jets in both the original bid under the previous government and the current deal for 36 aircraft isn’t public knowledge.
  • The government hasn’t shared the price details because they labeled them as ‘Classified information‘, citing security agreement provisions between India and France.
Accountability to Parliament:
  • It’s the government’s responsibility to share all pricing details with the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) and the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament.
Pricing Issues:
  • Nearly a decade ago, we never finalized or signed a contract for the price of 126 aircraft.
  • Originally, they estimated each Rafale aircraft to cost around Rs 670 crore.
  • The 36-aircraft deal signed later was worth approximately Rs 59,000 crore (€ 7.878 billion), according to officials.
  • The breakdown provided by defense officials includes the basic cost per aircraft, weaponry, spare parts, weather and terrain compatibility fits, and logistics support.
Transfer of Technology:
  • The offset proposal aligns with India’s ‘Make In India‘ initiative through an agreement between the Indian and French governments.
  • Dassault will contribute to the implementation of ‘Make In India’ by committing to fulfill half of the supply protocol’s value through offsets.
  • People are worried because there’s no technology transfer component, and Indian public sector companies like HAL don’t have guaranteed roles.
Conflict of Interest:
  • There are concerns about the bypassing of procedures and the unusually high involvement of the Prime Minister’s Office in the deal.
  • Changes made by the government in the terms of the deal and in the Defense Procurement Policy itself are seen in connection with the offset factor.
  • The awarding of the offset deal to a private multinational company without open competition has led to suspicions of nepotism.

Concerns of the CAG’s findings

  • The CAG claims that the aircraft price increased by 2.86%, which contradicts the government’s higher assertions.
  • The CAG expressed dissatisfaction with the defence ministry’s insistence on not disclosing specific prices in the Rafale deal, citing it as part of the agreement between India and France.
  • The CAG didn’t delve deeply into the original issue of reducing the total acquisition from 126 to 36 aircraft.
  • The CAG’s assessment of a 17% savings in India Specific Enhancements (ISE) lacks proper documentation and warrants further examination.
  • The CAG report highlights the Air Force’s difficulty in clearly specifying its requirements as a significant factor contributing to delays.


The recent report adds to the growing concern surrounding the Rafale deal, with various uncertainties and deviations coming to light. Unfortunately, the CAG report falls short of fully addressing these concerns, leaving many questions unanswered. It’s clear that simply releasing the report won’t put an end to the controversy.

Read Also: India to buy Rafale Marine Jet from France

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