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  4. Amid Rafale deal controversy, Defence Ministry audit finds HAL-manufactured jets costlier

Amid Rafale deal controversy, Defence Ministry audit finds HAL-manufactured jets costlier

In its review document, the Ministry of Defence has found that the HAL-made Su-30 MKI of the Indian Air Force is about Rs 150 crore costlier than its Russian counterparts produced by the JSC Sukhoi Company. 

India TV News Desk Edited by: India TV News Desk New Delhi Published on: October 20, 2018 12:57 IST
 
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced the

 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced the procurement of a batch of 36 Rafale jets after talks with the then French President Francois Hollande on April 10, 2015 in Paris. The final deal was sealed on September 23, 2016.

Amid the ongoing controversy over the purchse of Rafale jets, a recent Ministry of Defence (MoD) review has found that the fighter aircraft manufctured by the state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) under foreign licences are costlier than the same aircraft made by the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM).

The latest development comes amid the ongoing political slugfest between the government and the Opposition on the exclusion of HAL from the defence agreement under which Dassault Aviation will supply Indian Air Force (IAF) 36 units of the fourth-generation, twin-engine, all-weather, multi-role fighter jet under fly away condition. Anil Ambani's Reliance Group will be the offset partner in the pact. 

In its review document, the Ministry of Defence has found that the HAL-made Su-30 MKI of the Indian Air Force is about Rs 150 crore costlier than its Russian counterparts produced by the JSC Sukhoi Company. The Russian versions cost Rs 269.77 crore, whereas the same jets produced under Russian license in India, come at a price range of Rs 417.69 crore.

The audit also found a huge cost difference between the British-made Hawk trainer aircrafts and the ones made in India. 24 of these 62 jets, bought in 2004, were acquired in a fly-away condition, whereas the remaining were to be manufactured by HAL.

While the British-made Hawks would cost Rs 78 crore, the HAL-made ones would come under the price range of Rs 88 crore per unit. The manufacturing costs in India shot up to Rs 98 crore and Rs 153 crores respectively, during 2010 and 2016.

 Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced the procurement of a batch of 36 Rafale jets after talks with the then French President Francois Hollande on April 10, 2015 in Paris. The final deal was sealed on September 23, 2016.

 
The Congress has been alleging massive irregularities in the deal, saying the government was procuring each aircraft at a cost of over Rs 1,670 crore as against Rs 526 crore finalised by the UPA government when it was negotiating the deal.

However, the government has vehemently rejected the allegations and asserted that it did not have any role in the selection of Reliance Defence. 

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