Is Rafale deal really worth it for India?
The answer would not be that simple.
Modi government finalised a deal with French President Hollande in September of 2016 to buy 36 Rafale fighter jets from them at 7.878 billion euros, thus sealing the deal which was due since a decade of Manmohan’s government (though minimizing it).
With many images and info posted on Facebook and other social platforms stating the high amount of price which Modi government payed for the deal as compared to what Manmohan government was negotiating at, the question arises if NDA government was really inferior in negotiation with their counterpart?
Has Modi Government Really Paid a Lot?
Yes, in short, but it is a much deeper topic to be discussed and several facts are to be understood before coming up with a conclusion.
It is absolutely true that Modi govt brought the fighter jets for some three times the price of what UPA was paying, but in MMRCA deal (at the time of Manmohan Government), India was set to only buy 18 rafale in ‘fly away ‘condition and rest 108 were to be made by HAL, an Indian state-owned aerospace and defence company. This would have required another 10-12 years for the completion of project which will now be accomplished by 2019. This decrement in time that the recent deal has come up is not only crucial, but the need of the hour as far as our international defence requirements are concerned.
Along with 36 Rafale jets that would be delivered in next 30-40 months, IAF will also get better weapon package and free training to 9 IAF officials including 3 pilots, which in itself is worth 100 million dollars.
The France has also agreed to supply the spares for next seven years at initial cost which was for the duration of five years previously.
With all the 36 jets made by Rafale itself, India will get the guarantee in quality of aircrafts, thus ensuring standard.
Several inflation factors of the past 5 years also popped up with the increased price.
Not Every Thing Is Cool!
Beside the pros that Modi’s deal has come up with, several facts still stand still and make the previous MMRCA deal much better than the recent one. With transfer of technology and manufacturing of 108 jets in India by HAL, India would not have only ensured production and manufacturing in its own borders but would have also lifted the tag of largest importer of weapons and military in the world. Apart from this, the gap of 90 fighter jets are yet to be filled.
Comparison with Egypt
With the current scenario, It is quite relevant to compare the cost with a similar and recent deal for Rafale with Egypt.
Understanding the above deal of Egypt and price at which they brought the same fighter jets, this seems clear that, they were quite better in negotiation and have an edge over us.
Apart from minor price difference, the main problem for India is waiting period for first plane to arrive. 3 years is just too much!
When the deal has been closed now, the eyes are now on absolute completion of deal when the Dassault will start delivering.