New Delhi, Sep 23 : The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India has pulled up the Rafale fighter jet’s French manufacturer and its weapons producer for not fulfilling their offset commitment to transfer technology to India as part of the 2016 contract for 36 combat jets.
In an audit report on Management of Defence Offsets, tabled in Parliament on Wednesday, the government auditor flagged that foreign vendors made various offset commitments to qualify for the main supply contract but, later, were not earnest about fulfilling these commitments.
“..in the offset contract relating to 36 Medium Multi Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA), the vendors M/s Dassault Aviation and M/s MBDA initially proposed (September 2015) to discharge 30 per cent of their offset obligation by offering high technology to the DRDO,” it said.
Noting that the Defence Research and Development Organisation wanted to obtain technical assistance for the indigenous development of the engine (Kaveri) for the Light Combat Aircraft, it said: “Till date, the vendor has not confirmed the transfer of this technology.”
India has procured 36 Rafale combat aircraft from Dassault Aviation in government to government contract. The Rafale is a 4.5 generation aircraft and has latest weapons, superior sensors and fully integrated architecture. It is an omni-role aircraft which means it can carry out at least four missions in one sortie.
The fighter aircraft have HAMMER missiles, and will also be armed with beyond visual range missiles like Meteor, SCALP and MICA, increasing their ability to take on incoming targets from a distance.
On September 10, five Rafale aircraft were inducted in the IAF’s 17 Squadron at Ambala Air Base in Haryana amid fanfare. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh was present during the induction ceremony, along with his French counterpart Florence Parly, who had stated that the deal was a stellar achievement for both countries.
“Rafale means gust of wind if you are poetic and can also means burst of fire in a battlefield,” she had said.
More of these advanced combat aircraft are set to arrive in India in November.