FRENCH newsportal Mediapart has reported that a top official of Dassault Aviation explained to his staff in May 2017 that the firm’s joint venture with Anil Ambani’s Reliance group for discharging offsets in the 36-Rafale deal was a “condition”, “imperative and obligatory” to win the deal for 36 Rafale aircraft from India.
Mediapart said it had obtained an internal document which shows that Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Dassault Aviation Loïk Segalen said on May 11, 2017 during a presentation of the joint venture Dassault Reliance Aerospace Ltd (DRAL) from Nagpur: “It was imperative and obligatory for Dassault Aviation, to accept this condition, in order to obtain the export contract for Rafale from India”.
Dassault has maintained that “in accordance with the policy of Make in India, Dassault Aviation has decided to make a partnership with India’s Reliance Group” and that “it is Dassault Aviation’s choice, as CEO Eric Trappier had explained in an interview”.
Segalen’s remarks echo what Francois Hollande, the French President when the deal for 36 Rafale aircraft was signed between India and France, had told Mediapart. “It was the Indian government that proposed this service group (Reliance), and Dassault who negotiated with Ambani. We didn’t have a choice, we took the interlocutor who was given to us,” Hollande was quoted as having said.
Responding to this, the government...