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Each Rafale to cost Rs 670 cr: Govt

Responding to a question in the House, minister of state for defence, Subhash Bhamre said, the per unit price of the jet, manufactured by French aircraft manufacturer Dassault Aviation, did not cover associated equipment, weapons package

india Updated: Mar 12, 2018 23:05 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Rafale,Rafale jet deal,India
A French Rafale fighter jet performs during the Dubai Airshow on November 12, 2017, in the United Arab Emirates. (AFP File Photo)

Each basic version of the Rafale jet would cost Rs 670 crore, the government informed the Rajya Sabha on Monday even as the Opposition looked keen to corner the Centre on the $8.7- billion aircraft deal with France.

Responding to a question in the House, minister of state for defence, Subhash Bhamre said, the per unit price of the jet, manufactured by French aircraft manufacturer Dassault Aviation, did not cover associated equipment, weapons package, India-specific enhancements, maintenance support and services. Bhamre had stated the same amount as the cost of the jet in the Lower House two years ago.

The Rafales, ordered by the government in September 2016, would be equipped with latest weapons and tailored for Indian needs, which accounts for bulk of the overall cost.

India-specific enhancements in the jet include helmet-mounted sight, radar warning receivers, flight data recorders with enough storage for 10 hours, infra-red search and track systems, jammers, cold engine start capability to operate in Leh, towed decoys to lure incoming missiles away and missile approach warning system, people familiar with the deal said.

The Congress last week alleged that the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Union government had caused a loss of Rs 12,632 crore to the public exchequer by inking the Rafale deal. Quoting figures from Dassault Aviation’s March 8 annual report, the opposition party alleged said India had paid Rs 351 crore more for each jet than other Rafale customers such as Egypt and Qatar.

However, Dassault Aviation CEO Eric Trappier said in an interview that the Rafale contract was a “very clean deal” conforming to “Indian and French laws” and those raising questions about it had misinterpreted figures to conclude that India ordered expensive warplanes.

First Published: Mar 12, 2018 23:05 IST