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CEO Of Rafael Maker Dassault Aviation Says, Fighter Jet Contract 'Is A Clean Deal'

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| March 11 , 2018 , 11:15 IST

Eric Trappier, the CEO of Dassault Aviation, the maker of Rafale, in an interview on Saturday said that the Rafale jet contract is a 'very clean deal' and those raising questions about it have misinterpreted numbers to conclude that India paid too much for the warplanes.

Trappier is accompanying French President Emmanuel Macron on his India visit.

Trappier said, "As far as I am concerned as a witness and as someone in charge of the performance of the contract I may tell you very clearly, it is a very clean deal. How can I not do a clean deal with all the laws in France and India?"

He further said, "The figures in the report were given by me one-and-a-half years ago. The numbers include not only the Rafale deal but also covers Mirage-2000 support. I know that because the figures are coming from me."

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“Price varies depending on the package, support, weapons, country-specific requirements, number of bases…There are a huge number of parameters in the contract. There can be no comparison. It’s like apples and oranges. The scope of each deal is different,” he added

He slammed the criticism by saying that, "How can you find a way to be able to say one deal is more expensive than the other? Is it very professional to do so?"

Trappier said he was unaffected by the controversy the Rafale deal has stirred in India.

“What is important for me is what the IAF (Indian Air Force) thinks, what the Indian defence ministry thinks and we have no problem with them. So that’s most important for me…the noise is something else,” he said.

Trappier said the deal for the 36 jets is on track and that he is quite enthusiastic about the deliveries beginning in September 2019.

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His statement followed the remarks of the Congress, that the Narendra Modi government caused a loss of Rs 12,632 crore to the exchequer by inking the September 2016 deal for 36 Rafale planes. The Congress party alleged that India had paid Rs 351 crore more for each jet than other Rafale customers such as Egypt and Qatar.