Now Only A Question Of How Dassault Underwrites HAL-built Rafales

The Indian government is understood to have made it clear that it is no longer a question of whether Dassault Aviation will underwrite the 108 Rafales that HAL proposes to license-build in Bengaluru (a top MoD official indicated to Livefist that the RFP was explicit about this), but a question of how it will do so. Yesterday’s hour-long deliberations at the MoD involved discussions on possible options. In very limited conversations with all sides, the following threads become apparent:

  • Dassault and HAL will need to hammer down licensee/licensor modalities that will pave the way for a possibly complex matrix of agreements on the central issue of liability. It’s clear now. It is this set of agreements that will provide a solution to the guarantee issue. The question is how long it would take to do this.
  • Second, the extent of inspection and post-manufacture testing of equipment at HAL that would be the minimum required for Dassault to underwrite HAL-built jets.
  • Whether there are any financial implications to additional understandings between HAL and Dassault for the process of underwriting jets produced on the former’s production line in Bengaluru. Also, financial implications of the transfer of liability as a result of any additional agreements between HAL and Dassault.
  • Both sides appear committed to finding a solution before Prime Minister Modi’s visit to Paris in April, but is that a realistic time-frame? Sources suggest HAL and Dassault have already held extensive discussions on the liability issue and should be in a position to move quickly.

22 thoughts on “Now Only A Question Of How Dassault Underwrites HAL-built Rafales”

  1. Dassault have fair enough demands …..

    HAL has delivered faulty assembling of dhruv helicopters and if French manufacturer want quality to be intact ( for image) sake then its fair

    on the other hand HAL do not care about image and life of soldiers leave anything on capability building

    they are more concerned on how to waste public money ex. AMCA

  2. Looks like the French Govt. is more keen on consummating this deal than Dassault, moD or HAL ! Ha ha … wonder why ???

  3. Shiv, can u confirm what std. of the Rafale is currently under price negoz. Is it the F3+ or F3R ? If F3+, then does it include Metor integration & RBE2?

    Know that diff b/w F3 & F3R is as follows ( just not sure what the diff is b/w F3 & F3+):

    >>MDBA Meteor integration;
    >>Laser homing version of Sagem AASM A2G;
    >>Thales PDL NG laser designation pod to replace Damocles ;
    >>IFF mode 5/S ;
    >>Improved Thales L16 NMS;
    >>Spectra upgrades ;
    >>Reco NG upgrades.

    Would apprec. a clarification.


  4. It is puzzling to note that despite the liability clauses being front and center on the RFQ (which all involved parties including HAL would have read) no one on the Indian side has in the last 3 years thought of the relatively straightforward solution that has now been put forth.

    HAL should have had at least a basic framework agreement draft in place to be presented to whichever OEM won L1 status. The fact that only now after years of negotiating with MoD will Dassault be able to talk directly with HAL is disgraceful. And HAL's statements about Indian labour being not as productive or automated to explain the higher cost and presumably shoddier QA standards should cause scandal. The level of shamelessness is unfathomable…instead of using the opportunity to improve their production technique by learning from Dassault or any other OEM they are just going to sit back and carry on with business as usual. Obviously if I was Dassault I would be hesitant to sign a liability clause when the local manufacturer is making statements like this even before they have started!

    What a farce

  5. At Rs 700 crore per piece, Rafale is daylight robbery! Three decade old 4th generation fighter (its first flight took place in July 1986!)at a 5th gen price! If BJP govt. inks this deal, it will prove BJP is as anti-national as the Congress. Dump Rafale, go for Tejas & AMCA. Induct 100 Tejas Mk-I to begin with.

  6. Didn't dassault know of the terms and what is expected of them when they bid for the tender??? I just don't get it. Can someone pls explain.

  7. There shouldn't be any other deal which will lead to IAF fall In fighters instead of current rafale,obviously tejas mk-1 should be undergo as soon as possible in mass phase.

  8. "Daylight robbery"? 1986?

    In 1986 this was Rafale A, with very different shape because M88 was not used (Dassault=Never a new engine in a new plane). M88 engined, the plane was around 12% light and its' size was reduced to current one: 1st real flight with current shape = 1991.

  9. NSR says…

    Extremely disturbing news coming out of media about HAL and Dassault and decision making process…

    First they should only go forward if the price is right and TOT is transferred without any conditions…any disputes in contract, not withstanding language must be resolved in India's favor…so that Dassault can't escape with the language…

    First of all, HAL must ask Dassault for help with identical Rafale assembly line and conform to their labor procedures and standards with respect to assembly and hours…

    HAL should use exact processes of Dassault for airframe and AESA radar manufacture…any other deviation will not get a fighter closer to that of French Rafale…and so a guarantee by Dassault is not feasible at all…even a dummy should know that…

    What is happening with HAL and MoD officials…

    I think India must understand as to what is going on with Scorpene submarine contract before they even think of signing this contract documents…

    France economy is in shambles and they should be wetting their pants to get this contract…

    Let it go…order some off the shelf Super Sukhois and build them in India…Also order some S-400 and/or S-500 to counter China…

  10. S400 etc are defensive systems. Rafale offers deep penetration radar evading(by flying smartly of course) capability. Sukhois, even the super ones are basically air superiority fighters with an ability to carry a huge missile. The AF chief is right. Sukhois and rafales complement each other but cannot replace each other.
    It is obvious India has a gap in their overall variety of the air arm.
    There definitely is a place for an mmrca like rafale. Whether this mmrca will be the rafale or, it is too expensive or, hal labor is too unproductive to take this on(Hals own words apparently lol) time will tell.
    At this point I have to jump off the fence and say I am for the rafale. Just hope everything's budgeted for.

  11. Screw the French …they screwed us over on the Scorpene delays;
    Screw the Russians ….they screwed us several times over past military deals, Vikramaditya being the latest in a series;
    Screw the Brits, we know them oh too well !
    Screw the Americans, they are in bed with our neighbors next door and will screw us over at the first opportunity.

    So where does that leave us ? THINK !

    NO man, no Nation has gotten ahead with a begging bowl in hand. Take pride and rise. Even a lathi can be more powerful than a gun when the man who wields it knows how to use it and is inspired and driven by purpose.

    Why do I saw this and why is this important ? Well, it seems even after almost 70 years since Independence we are still living in the shadow or servitude and we will continue to have these stupid debates over RAFALE vs. Eurofighter until we can break FREE and be in charge of our own destiny !

  12. I seriously doubt that Rafale can penetrate China air defenses. At Red Flag, Rafales were not that successful in penetrating defenses simulating those that China has.
    Take the Libya campaign, Rafales only went in after electronic warfare from E/F18 Growlers and Tomahawks have taken out the Libyan air defense assets.
    It is not just an issue with Rafale. To penetrate state of the art air defenses, you need 5th generation and Rafale is not one of them. Look at the US long range strike initiatives that will bring together 3 separate and distinct next generation stealth platforms with the aim of defeating these air defenses.

  13. NSR says —

    With the advent of missile and air defense, BVRAAMs, and AWACS, the days of deep penetration are over…

    The idea is to keep any aircrafts and missiles crossing our borders as many of them became nuclear…

    Pakistan really upgraded their radar systems and have Swedish and Chinese AWACS…so stop day dreaming about deep penetration and Rafale qualities…

    I have written many times and writing again that Rafale actually did not face any formidable threats so far and its performance in real and saturated missile/air defense and defensive aircraft is suspect…

    Also do not forget, that India is getting close to Mig-29UPG soon, additional Mig-29Ks, LCA Tejas I and II, and possibly AMCA if India can manage it properly…Tejas II will be coming in at the same time Rafale starts coming in…

    I think without TOT and proper cost, India must think seriously about the contract as it would not want it to go the same way of Scorpene….

  14. Some of my freinds who are blame gaming HAL may be right in some sense but the facts are:

    -Our AF is paying through the nose to get these jets, so if we pay many times a russian fighter, we expect quality and as France is charging superhigh for even Indian made jets, they have to guarentee it even when made in India, while doing QC with HAL.

    -They cannot run away from their resp. even if the product is made in India, in private sectors do companies run away from computer parts built in china? no they guarantee them

    -There are much cheaper alternatives, still we chose rafael, do you think we will throw away our money, thanks but fighter jets are not fashion handbags or flashy cars that can be replaced every 2-3 years

  15. We must reduce the orders of the Rafale drastically i.e. only 40 or 50 units, as opposed to 126 units.

    This will help us save precious dollars, besides being a face-saver for both, France and India.


    Let's dump the PAK-FA. Let's channel all our energies on the AMCA.

  16. NSR says —

    I forgot to mention the following aircrafts that will be coming on stream …

    1. 60 Mig-29UPG
    2. 50 Mirage-2000UPG
    3. 100+ Jaguar engine/sensor/display upgraded
    4. Mig-29K additional…
    5. 140+ LCA/Tejas I & II in various configurations…
    6. Weaponize AJT Hawks…
    7. Weaponize all AWACS with anti-ship missiles and anti-submarine torpedoes..

    Above all add additional SU-30MKI with 5th generation avionics and armaments…

    Buy Rafale if and only if Dassault promises to transfer technology and manufacture/maintenance infrastructure…

  17. I am sorry Rafale did face state of the art defenses in those terrorists manning Dhsk or ZSU (or by default AK) on Toyota 4×4 Land Cruiser (or shall we say Land Fighter?). Even US special forces are on Toyota so clearly at least the Toyota is SoA…on land.

  18. a picture is worth a thousand words. This is exactly what the picture of Indian and French defence minister shows. The french minister on a visit to India is accompanied by 2 military officers, where as the Indian defence minister is flanked by babus. Congress or BJP, nothing has changed in MoD.

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