Rubbishing the allegations of the Opposition over the purchase of 36 French fighter aircraft Rafale, Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa on Thursday defended the government saying that it has managed to negotiate “a very good deal and that there was no overpricing”.
At Adampur Air Force Station where two units of Indian Air Force were awarded President’s Standard by President Ram Nath Kovind, Air Chief Marshal Dhanoa said, “It being a government-to-government contract, we are getting the 36 Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) at a very negotiated price. It is definitely a better deal. It is lower than what was there in the MRMCA contract”.
He, however, did not specify the amount. Asked on this, he looked into some papers in front of him and said, “I don’t have the amount”.
He countered all allegations put forth by Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala on the issue, including purchase of aircraft at three times the amount (up from Rs 526 crore to Rs 1570 crore for an aircraft) and no technology being transferred to India.
“We have purchased two aircraft in a flyaway condition as an emergency measure. We are getting 50 per cent offset. Technology may not be going to Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) but it is coming to Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and then to lot of Indians,” the IAF chief said.
Asked if it was coming to Reliance Defence Ltd, he said, “I cannot answer that question”.