Not interested in Rafale as offsets: HAL MD

The Bengaluru-based defence PSU Hindustan Aeronautics limited will not be interested in the Rafale project anymore in the current phase, according to a top company official. PTI file photo

The Bengaluru-based defence PSU Hindustan Aeronautics limited will not be interested in the Rafale project anymore in the current phase, according to a top company official.

“As of now, it is about direct purchase. So it’s nothing like that there is manufacturing involved in it. That is the reason we are not interested in it. We are not interested in offsets and direct purchases. That was the government’s decision to take it as a direct purchase and we are not interested in it.  If it’s coming as a business to us, we will be interested in it,” R Madhavan told in a reply to question from DH.

In 2016, the Prime Minister Narendra Modi led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government finalised a reworked deal with French Dassault Aviation – the manufacturers of fourth-generation fighter jets Rafale.

In the previous deal, that was being negotiated by the United Progressive Alliance (UPA), government, Indian Air Force would have been getting 126 Rafale fighter jets – of which 18 fighter jets were to be delivered by the French company in flyaway condition and the rest 108 were to be manufactured in India at the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).

When asked about Minister of State for External Affairs VK Singh’s statement, Madhavan said: “There is no shortage of capabilities in HAL… Anyone can make the comments, but we will wait for the court of inquiry.”

Singh had criticised HAL after the recent crash of Miraaj 2000 in Bengaluru. “"Look at the condition of HAL. Our two pilots died. Sorry to say, but the programmes at HAL are running late by three-and-a-half years...Parts of aircraft are falling off on the runway. Is this capability? On the other hand, we say that HAL is not getting the (Rafale) work," he had said.
 

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