New Delhi: In the Rafale combat aircraft deal, it is turning out that the French had initially offered to sell the 36 Rafale combat aircraft for Rs 84,745 crore (€ 11.36 billion at Rs 74. 608 per euro in September 2016) but the NDA government managed to bring it down by Rs 25,000 crore in the series of tough negotiations with the French firm.

According to senior government sources, the French side had made the fixed price offer of supplying the 36 planes at € 11.36 billion (Rs 84,745 crore) for supplying the planes but the negotiators brought down the price to € 7.89 billion (Rs 59,262 crore) in the two years of negotiations with the French.

The Deputy Chief of Air Staff was made in charge of the negotiations that had started soon after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the intent to buy the 36 aircraft to meet the emergency requirements of the Indian Air Force. The Deputy Chief of Air Staff was to finalise country’s biggest acquisition ever in terms of values of the contract.

“During the negotiation, the French had pegged the inflation rate at 4% annually, with which we did not agree. A study was carried out by the Air Force on last 10 years of inflation in Europe and then the French were made to agree to keep it at the 2016 prevailing rate in 1.1% and capped it at 3.5%,” the sources said.

The change in the rate of inflation alone helped in making savings of close to a couple of billion euros in the deal.

A government document prepared by the Ministry of Defence and the Indian Air Force this year and accessed by MyNation recently shows that the per unit price of Modi regime’s Rafales, after taking into account the cost of weapons, maintenance, simulators, repair support and technical assistance is coming out to Rs 1,646 crore while the ones negotiated for by the UPA would have come to Rs 1,705 crore.

The document suggests that the cost of the planes under the UPA would have been Rs 255 crore more if the NDA government had settled for the same aircraft that their predecessors had been negotiating for.

The total cost of 36 Rafales is Rs 59,262 crore whereas the 126 planes during the UPA time would have cost Rs 1,72,185 crores as per the document.

Despite spending Rs 9,855 more on the India Specific Enhancements in the planes in the deal done by the Modi government, the cost of the planes is coming to Rs 59 crore less than the UPA price for each aircraft.

The NDA government has been arguing for a long time that its full-fledged deal for 36 Rafales is much better than the UPA deal that was withdrawn at the negotiations stage itself in terms of both price and capability of the planes. This document settles the debate once and for all.

Congress president Rahul Gandhi has been making allegations for the last one year that there is a scam in the 36-plane deal done by Modi government and demanding from the government the exact price of the contract with France.

Further, the document shows that the Modi government has managed to add muscle for the planes in form of the 150 km-range METEOR air-to-air beyond visual range missiles while it would also be able to destroy ground targets using the 300-km range SCALP missiles which were not part of the package of the UPA deal.