While the Rs 60,000 crore Rafale deal is stuck in a deadlock, India considers the possibility of buying American F/A- 18 “Super Hornet” fighter jets for the Indian Air Force.
With the Rafale deal between India and France being stuck in a deadlock, it seems like India is considering the possibility of buying American F/A- 18 “Super Hornet” fighter jets for the Indian Air Force.
The top officials of the defense ministry met rivals Boeing and Lockheed Martin (LM) to discuss the production of an American fighter jet in India. The two companies offered to produce locally the F16 ‘Super Viper’ and a customised F/A 18 ‘Super Hornet’ for Indian Air Force requirements under the Make in India program.
There has not been any concrete outcome of the meeting as no formal offer letter with pricing and availability of the aircraft has been drafted.
Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar had earlier announced that the ministry is interested in setting up production lines for ‘one or two’ fighters at the earliest.
Law Ministry’s advice to reconsider clauses in Rafale deal
Moreover, the Law Ministry had earlier cautioned the government that certain clauses of the inter-governmental agreement signed for the purchase of 36 French Rafale fighter aircraft were not in the country’s interest.
The Law Ministry is of the opinion that the liability clause should be more stringent and in case of material breach by the French companies, India should be able to involve the French government while taking a legal recourse. It also said that in case of any commercial, the arbitration proceedings should take place in India and not in Switzerland as suggested in the draft.
The Rs 60,000 crore deal to acquire 36 Rafale fighters from France’s Dassault Aviation was inked on January 25, 2015 but was not finalised due to ‘financial’ issues.