Current Rafale deal much better than the previous one: Air Force deputy chief

IAF Deputy chief said the Air Force met all directions of the leadership to get "better price, better maintenance terms, better delivery schedule, better performance logistic package". 

Current Rafale deal much better than the previous one: Air Force deputy chief

New Delhi: Amid a political slugfest over the Rafale deal, Air Force deputy chief Raghunath Nambiar on Tuesday said the people were being "misinformed" on the issue and that the current pact was "much better" than what was negotiated earlier. 

Nambiar, who test flew the Rafale jet in France last week, said the commercial negotiations were headed by the then Deputy Chief of Air Staff and he was responsible for completing the negotiations that continued for 14 months. 

He said the Air Force met all directions of the leadership to get "better price, better maintenance terms, better delivery schedule, better performance logistic package". 

Nambiar said it was "all in all a much better than what was obtained" earlier. 

When asked about the charges by the opposition over offset contract under the deal to buy 36 fighter jets, he said, "I believe people are misinformed. It is nothing like Rs 30,000 crore to one party. Dassault alone has to only do offset to the tune of Rs 6,500 crore. Nothing more than that." 

The Congress has been accusing the government of corruption and favouritism to benefit Anil Ambani's Reliance Defence through offset contract by sidelining the state-run Hindustan Aeronautics Limited.

Asked about the test flight, Nambiar said he had an opportunity to fly the Rafale and look at the capabilities that is on offer for the Air Force. 

He said the aircraft is "shaping up quite well" and the Air Force is satisfied with the performance of all the systems on the aircraft. 

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