Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s decision to buy 36 Rafale fighter jets from France instead of 126 as requested by the Indian Air Force hiked the price of each jet by 41%, The Hindu reported on Friday.
According to the report, the NDA government agreed to the €1.3 billion cost claimed by Dassault Aviation for the ‘design and development’ of 13 India Specific Enhancements, which were additional capabilities that had already been specified by the Air Force.
This design and development cost distributed over 36 Rafale fighter jets instead of the initial 136 increased the cost of each jet to €36.11 million when the deal was struck in 2016.
Documentation reviewed by the daily revealed that three Defence Ministry officials on the seven-member Indian Negotiating Team objected to the high cost but were overruled by the other four members.
The NDA government’s notes on the decision-making process in the Rafale deal, which were submitted to the Supreme Court, did not make any reference to the role of the Defence Acquisition Council headed by then defence minister Manohar Parrikar, the daily reported.
The decision on the proposal to procure the 36 jets were passed on to the Cabinet Committee on Security chaired by the Prime Minister, as recommended by the chairman of the negotiating team. The committee ratified most of the decisions taken by the negotiating team.
You can read the full report here.