NEW DELHI --- Rafale fighter jets meant to be sold to India off the shelf in a "flyaway" condition are cheaper in the new deal signed by the Modi government, the chief executive of aircraft maker Dassault Aviation said Tuesday.
A previous deal which fell through during the United Progressive Alliance's tenure was for 126 Rafales. But only 18 of these were supposed to be flyaway jets. The plan was to get the others made in India by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).
The Modi government's deal is for 36 flyaway jets, but it also requires Dassault to make investments in India as part of an offset agreement.
Dassault CEO Eric Trappier (pronounced Tra-pi-yay) told ANI he had to decrease the price of the flyaway jets in the new deal.
"Thirty-six is the double of 18 -- so as far as I was concerned, it should have been double the price. But because it was government-to-government, there was some negotiation, I had to decrease [the] price by 9 per cent," he said.
However, Trappier did not speak about the 108 extra aircraft that were supposed to be manufactured by HAL under the first deal, and whether that may have changed the cost equation for India.
The Congress, which leads the UPA, has claimed the Modi government's deal is more expensive than the UPA's on a per-aircraft basis.
Click here for the full interview, on the India Today website.