Indian Government Has signed an inter-governmental agreement with France.which is known as “Rafale deal” In September 2016. In which India bought 36 off-the-shelf Dassault Rafale twin-engine fighters in a price estimated to be Rs. 58,000 crore.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced in April 2015 that India will make a purchase of 36 French manufactured Rafale fighter jets off the shelf from Dassault, The French aircraft builder, and integrator. The Rafale was chosen in 2012 over the other similar offers from the United States, Russia, and Europe. It was done as an effort to upgrade India’s aging fleet. As per the initial plan, it was about to buy 18 off the shelf jets from France’s Dassault Aviation with 108 others being assembled in India by the state-run Hindustan Aeronautics Limited.
The Modi led BJP government , however drifted back from the UPA government to buy 126 Rafales, on the grounds that it would be expensive and after a decade long negotiations between the two countries. However losing a number of fighters and the need to provide new life to the Indian Air Force, PM Modi decided to buy 36 ‘ready to fly’ fighters in place of getting the technology from the Dassault and make it in India.
Soon after the announcement of the same Congress accused the ruling BJP for non- transparent deal involving the multi-billion dollar and declared it as the biggest failure of the ‘Make in India’ program.
In January 2016, India confirmed the order of 36 Rafale jets with France. According to Rafale deal, Dassault and its main partners engine-maker Safran and electronic systems maker Thales will share some technology with Defence Research and Development Organisation and some private sector companies and HAL under the offsets clause.
The claims were refused by Defense Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Anil Ambani-led Reliance Defence Limited with the government assuring that the renegotiated deal was transparent and better than the deal negotiated by the previous UPA government as it includes a superior weapons package and logistical support, and all this had been absent in the previous one. After this claim Reliance Defence also said that Reliance Aerostructure and Dassault Aviation which formed a joint venture Dassault Reliance Aerospace, after the agreement between two private companies, The Indian government has no role to play in this.
The delivery of Rafale jets is to be made in September, 2019.