It is no secret that the UPA II government had never contracted Dassault Aviation for even a single Rafale aircraft, despite TEN long years of tortuous, convoluted and protracted acquisition process. The reasons for such spectacular incompetence in providing for India’s defense and ensuring its safety and security are not hard to find, and are also known amongst most informed citizenry. Of these some that we can speak openly about include general lack of will and drive on government’s part, which was being run on laissez-faire principles. This poor command of administration manifested in myriad ways, including a bureaucracy which was never given clear goals, different departments at cross-purposes with each other and an overall general confusion on state of affairs.
One of the key manifestation of defense ministry running around as a headless chickens is seen in the Dassault-GoI-HAL deadlock, where the government was never able to forge a defined structure for Rafale manufacturing in India, despite having it as an very important stated goal for the deal. It was known as far back as 2014-15 that Dassault and HAL had not been able to agree to terms of engagement on many issues, including a critical one of Dassault being unwilling to take the liability for the aircrafts manufactured under license at HAL, so our current Raksha Mantri’s press conference was not really unknown for those who were following the MMRCA saga honestly and dispassionately.
So the failure of UPA government to put together a working model which would enable Rafales to be made in India was well known for four long years, before the ghosts of UPA’s dead deal were suddenly resurrected to try and scare India from protecting itself, and have UPA level of unpreparedness return to bedevil the country.
In the process of conjuring these demons, many lies and untruths were thrown into the incantation; including the latest one of statement attributed to ex-CMD HAL that, HAL could have manufactured the aircraft at perhaps cheaper costs.
What the reality however is, that ex – CMD of HAL was very much a part of the price negotiation committee that worked on behalf of GoI with HAL, and was aware first hand of the issues that dogged the partnership and had been writing constantly and consistently to the MoD raising these issues, first in 2012 and then in 2014. The problems of agreeing on work-share, price models, quality control and most importantly, of Dassault standing behind birds made at HAL were known in public in 2014, because of the efforts of officials like ex- CMD of HAL raising them.
This is very clearly then a case of completely baseless news being pushed down country’s throat. There can be no doubt that attributing exactly the opposite to ex- CMD as what he has signed on in official documents can not be case of mere incompetence, even considering current media standards.
This is a deliberately planted bomb, aiming to destroy the Rafale deal, to leave the country defenseless. Let us remember that this by far not the first case, with another such very high profile destruction of Indian nation at the altar of politics having been completely exposed recently.
It is very important for the country to stand guard against such continuing attacks on our survival through various means overt and covert, and pledge to defeat these at every juncture.