New Delhi: Virtually rejecting the Congress’ charges of crony-capitalism and corruption in the Rafale combat aircraft deal, IAF Chief BS Dhanoa on Wednesday said that the option of selecting the offsets partners was with the vendor and said the French-origin plane would prove to be a “game-changer” in the subcontinent for the force.

Addressing the annual press conference on Air Force day, Dhanoa pointed out the shortcomings of the public sector firm HAL saying that though the company meets its production targets, it has delayed all major projects of the Air Force by four to six years including the production of Sukhoi 30 planes and other upgrade programmes.

“As per the Defence Procurement Procedure of 2013, the choice of selecting the offsets partner is with the OEM which in this case is Dassault. Dassault Aviation selected the offset partner and the government and Indian Air Force had no role in it,” he said.

The chief was asked about Congress’ allegations about the selection of Anil Ambani-led Reliance Defence as offsets partner for the Rafale Deal worry Rs 60,000 crore.

“Rafale is a good aircraft. It will be game-changers when it comes to the subcontinent, we have got a good package, got a lot of advantages in Rafale aircraft,” he Said on the utility of the planes.

 PM Modi had announced the procurement of 36 Rafale fighters after holding talks with Hollande on April 10, 2015, in Paris.

Asked about the cutting down of the requirement from 126 planes to 36 and why the earlier programme was scrapped, Dhanoa said that IAF was left with “Only three options were left when negotiations between HAL and Dassault reached an impasse. This was, one, wait for something to happen. Second, withdraw the tender request or make an emergency purchase. We chose the last. In the past, too, we acquired two squadrons of the Dassault Mirage," the Air Chief Marshal said.

He gave examples of the emergency purchases made by the Air Force during the 1980s when Pakistan got the F-16s from the US as India got two squadrons each of Mirages, MiG 23s and MiG 29s from different vendors to meet the requirements.