On Monday, government made it public that it signed a new deal for procurement of 36 fully loaded Rafale fighter jets from Dassault Aviation considering the reducing combat capabilities of Indian Forces and enhancing combat capabilities of adversaries.
Centre’s document said, “During this long period of inconclusive 126 medium multi-role combat aircraft process, our adversaries inducted modern aircraft and upgraded their old versions. They acquired better capability air-to-air missiles and inducted their indigenous fighters in large numbers. Further, they modernized and inducted aircraft with advanced weapon and radar capabilities. Our adversaries inducted more than 400 fighters (equivalent to 20 squadrons) during 2010-15”.
The Document said that it was urgent to arrest the falling number of fighter squadrons in IAF and to enhance the combat capabilities of Indian Air Force. It said, “The combined effect of our own reducing combat potential and our adversaries enhancing their combat capabilities made the situation asymmetrical and extremely critical. An urgent need was felt to arrest the decline in the number of fighter squadrons in IAF and enhance their combat capabilities”.
The document said, “Dassault agreed to provide 36 Rafale jets (two squadrons) in flyaway condition, on terms which would be better than conveyed by Dassault Aviation in the process which was already under-way (for 126 jets)”.
It added, “The inter-governmental agreement was signed on September 23, 2016, for procurement of 36 Rafale aircraft along with aircraft package supply protocol, weapons package protocol, technical arrangement and offset contracts”.
Center government made the document public after Supreme Court’s order on October 31. Opposition parties had alleged NDA government of scam in Rafale deal and favoring some industrialists in offset project.