New Delhi: Vice Chief of the Air Staff Air Marshal Shirish Baban Deo on Wednesday asserted that Rafale is a capable aircraft and the force needs such combat capabilities.
Air Marshal Deo, who initially refused to comment on Rafale, later said, “All this discussion and all these things going on in Rafale is because we know a lot about how everything went, we find that, people don’t have the information.”
“The Air Force policy is that anything comes to us quickly and money stays in our country, that’s what is required,” he said when quizzed by media on whether he favoured manufacturing of Tejas by private sector since the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) was taking too long.
“It doesn’t really . it is not necessary to know whether the money is with the DPSU (Defence PSU) or the money is with the private company, as long as money stays in the country, and investments are in the country and the aircraft come out quickly, why should we refuse?” he added.
The Rafale jets were chosen in 2012. India initially planned to buy 18 off-the-shelf jets from France, with 108 others to be assembled in the country by the state-run aerospace and defence company HAL.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government scrapped the UPA’s plan in 2015 and announced that it would buy 36 “ready-to-fly” Rafale jets instead of seeking a technology transfer from France’s Dassault Aviation and making the aircraft in India.