New Delhi, Oct 11: Dassault Aviation the maker of the Rafale fighter jets said that it had freely chosen to make a partnership with the Reliance Group. The clarification comes in response to a French media website claim that Dassault was presented with no option but to tie up with the Ani Ambani led reliance group.
Within the framework of the September 2016 Inter-Government Agreement between France and India, Dassault Aviation has sold 36 Rafale aircraft to India. In compliance with the Indian regulations (Defence Procurement Procedure) and as frequent with such a contract, Dassault Aviation has committed to offsets in India worth 50% of the value of the purchase. In order to deliver some of these offsets, Dassault Aviation has decided to create a joint-venture. Dassault Aviation has freely chosen to make a partnership with India’s Reliance Group. This joint-venture, Dassault Reliance Aerospace Ltd (DRAL), was created February 10, 2017,” Dassault said in a press note.
The statement also added that other partnerships have been signed with other companies such as BTSL, DEFSYS, Kinetic, Mahindra, Maini, SAMTEL,… Other negotiations are ongoing with a hundred-odd other potential partners. A French media report had suggested the a senior official win Dassault Aviation saw the partnership with Anil Ambani’s Reliance Group as imperative and mandatory to getting the export contract with India for the Rafale aircraft. Mediapart while quoting an internal Dassault Aviation document detailing a presentation that deputy chief executive officer Loïk Segalen gave to worker representatives explaining the rationale for setting up a joint venture in Nagpur with Reliance Aerospace.
Segalen, during the presentation described the joint venture as a contrepartie to getting the export contract India. Contrepartie roughly translates to compensation or to refer to something given as compensation. Last month former French President, Francois Hollande was quoted by Mediapart as saying that France was given no choice on selection of the Indian partner for Dassault and the Indian government proposed the name of Reliance to partner with the French aerospace giant.