New Delhi, Amidst all the political slugfest over purchase of 36 Rafale fighter aircrafts from France, Indian Air Force chief Air Chief Marshal (ACM) BS Dhanoa on Wednesday defended the deal and called it as a “game-changer”.
“We have got a good package, got a lot of advantages in Rafale deal,” ACM Dhanoa said at annual press conference of IAF, rejecting allegations that the fighters were overpriced.
He said the original negotiations to purchase 126 Rafale jets had hit an impasse and couldn’t be translated into a contract. “So we could have kept negotiating and waiting for something to happen or withdraw the request for proposal or go in for emergency purchase of 36 planes,” he said.
On selection of Anil Ambani’s Reliance Defence Limited as Dassault Aviation’s offset partner, the chief said the IAF had no role in it.”Rafale is a good aircraft. It will be game-changer when it comes to the subcontinent,” he said at a press conference.
On being asked about Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) performance, the IAF chief said, “The PSU lags in delivery schedule. The Sukhoi 30 is delayed by 3 years, LCA Tejas by 5 years, Mirage 2000 by 2 years. However, the overall production target was achieved.”
On purcahse of S-400 air defence missile systems, he said, “As and when the government approves it, delivery will be in 24 months.”