Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar today slammed the UPA’s proposed deal for 126 Rafale fighter jets and termed it as “economically unviable” and not required. Parrikar has stated that the NDA government will look to buy only 36 Rafale jets for strategic importance and not more than that..
Parrikar even questioned the process of tender that was undertaken under former Defence Minister A K Antony. The Defence Minister accused AK Antony of “hammering” the deal in a manner that would have never saw the Rafale deal get through. He even informed the media that the Committee, that was set up to work out the contract, would complete the task in the next 2-3 months.
PM Modi during his recent visit to France, had announced the procurement of 36 Rafale jets in fly-away conditions. These were to be procured under a government-to-government contract. Parrikar also reiterated that the demand for Rafale jets came in as an “urgent requirement” of the Indian Air Force.
“I also feel like having a BMW and Mercedes. But I don’t because I can’t afford it. First I can’t afford it and second I don’t need it. So, 126 Rafales was economically unviable. It was not required,” Parrikar told the media.