Delivery of Rafale under NDA deal faster by a month: CAG
The time taken to deliver 36 Rafale aircraft under the deal signed by the NDA government will be one month less than what the UPA had negotiated in 2007, the Comptroller and Auditor General has observed in its report. In the report tabled in the Parliament Wednesday, the CAG has said that according to the original delivery schedule offered by the Dassault Aviation to the UPA dispensation, the first 18 'flyaway' aircraft were to be delivered between 37th months to 50th months of signing of the contract.
The next batch of 18 aircraft which were to be licence-produced by the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) were to be delivered from 49th to 72nd months of signing of the contract. "During negotiations (under the NDA), the Indian Negotiation Team (INT) conveyed to the French side that it expected the delivery of first batch of 18 Rafale aircraft in 24 months after the signing of the IGA and next batch of 18 aircraft in 36 months after the signing of Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA)," the report said.
However, the delivery schedule finally offered by the French side for the first batch of 18 aircraft was 36 to 53 months after the signing of IGA, and the remaining 18 aircraft to be delivered by 67 months of signing of IGA. "This was better than the delivery schedule of 2007 by 05 months," it said.
However, the CAG noted that "as against the delivery period of 72 months in the earlier offer the contracted delivery schedule for 36 Rafale aircraft was actually 71 months". The CAG also noted that the INT had apprehensions about the achievement of even this delivery schedule, because at the time of signing of the contract, the Dassault Aviation had an order backlog of 83 aircraft.
Considering its production rate of 11 aircraft a year, clearing this backlog itself would take more than seven years, the CAG observed.
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