While the Rahul Gandhi-led Congress party continues to corner the Centre over the Rafale deal, Republic has exclusively accessed the numbers of the deal and the government's counter to Rahul Gandhi.
The Congress has alleged that the price of the fighter jets being paid by the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government is higher than what was finalised by the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government in a previous deal. During Prime Minister Modi's visit to France in 2015, India and France announced a government-to-government deal wherein the air force would receive 36 Rafale jets in fly-away condition as soon as possible.
Government sources tell Republic:
- Rafale deal at a much lower cost than the one being negotiated by UPA
- Expected saving at Rs 75-100 crores per aircraft on basic model cost
- 36 Rafale bought are a substantial upgrade tech-wise than the ones UPA was negotiating
- The present Rafale are gen-next with better weaponry and overall capabilities
- Rafale are loaded with air to air patriot missiles, which were not part of UPA deal
- Each aircraft costs rs 610 crore, fully loaded aircraft cost will reveal capabilities
- The cost of fully loaded aircraft is not being shared for strategic reasons
- Sharing cost can give away details of weapons loaded and overall capabilities
- RafaleS to be loaded with different weapon systems for western and eastern borders
- At the time of signing the deal in September 2016, the deal was discussed and approved by CCS
- No date of delivery fixed in UPA deal. The first batch of crafts would have come only in 2017
- UPA government deal would have taken cost to over Rs 700 cr while Modi-government deal is at Rs 610 crore
- NDA deal prevents substantial cost escalations by the time of delivery
- Exact cost not being shared as per the 2008 secrecy clause, tentative cost pegged at 6.7 billion euros
Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday mocked Prime Minister Narendra Modi's speech in the Lok Sabha and questioned when will he speak on Rafale deal. Rahul Gandhi took to Twitter and said, "It was a very long speech by Saheb (PM Modi). He termed day as night in the Parliament and put curtains on his own failures. Sadly, the national issues were missing from the speech. When will Prime Minister break the silence? When will he speak on Rafale deal?"
Following are the questions put forth by Congress party on Rafale deal: