Let’s have a look through the entire series of timeline of the controversial Rafale deal, which has led to Modi government surrounded with allegations of Corruption.
2007: Indian Government issued demand of Fighter Jets.
A proposal to buy Medium multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA) was sent from Air Force to government. Tenders for 126 Medium Multi Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) fighters were issued by India i.e. the UPA government led by Congress in 2007. The competition were between the French Rafale, Russia’s MIG-35, the Swedish Saab JAS-39 Gripen, American Lockheed Martin’s F-16, the Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet and Eurofighter Typhoon. Only the Rafale and Typhoon succeeded in quoting the lowest bid.
2012: Final stages of deal to purchase Rafale jets.
Five years after the tenders were issued by the Indian government. The French company Dassault Aviation grabbed the contract by bidding the lowest amount. It was finalised that out of the 126 fighter jets, 18 jets will be provided by the french company in a ready position, however rest of the jets will be manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) with technological assistance by the French Company. But, Indian government and the French company were unable to finalise the price of the jets.
March 13, 2014: Workshare Agreement signed between HAL and Dassault Aviation.
Dassault’s competitor Eurofighter Typhoon makes a last attempt by offering a 20 per cent cut in price. Negotiations over pricing, technology, weapon system, customisation and maintenance continued. Workshare agreement between Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL) and Dassault Aviation was signed.
March 28, 2015: Reliance Defence Limited came into existence.
Anil Ambani-led Reliance Defence Limited company was incorporated.
April 10, 2015: PM Narendra Modi’s announcement regarding a new Rafale deal being signed.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Paris in April and announced government’s decision to buy 36 Rafale fighters in flyaway condition, citing critical operational requirements of the Indian Air Force. Rafale deal was hereby declared.
June 2015: Defence Ministers official announcement.
Defence minister Manohar Parrikar officially announced the withdrawal of 126 aircraft deal tender proposed during the UPA government led by Congress and announced the deal of buying 36 air fighter jet planes.
January 24, 2015: Reliance Entertainment Announcement.
On January 24th Reliance entertainment puts out press release announcing an Indo-French joint production “nOmber one”. Reliance entertainment invested 1.6 million euros in a movie co-produced by French president Hollande’s partner Julie Gayet.
January 26, 2016: Memorandum of Understanding was signed.
French President François Hollande visited India on the occasion of Republic Day, a memorandum of understanding on the purchase of Rafale jets is signed.
September 2016: Deal was sealed.
India and France signed the final deal for 36 Rafale jets for euro 7.87 billion (approximately Rs 59000 crores). According to this deal, the delivery of jets would start from September 2018.
October 3, 2016: Reliance and Dassault Joint Venture Announcement
Anil Ambani’s RDL and Dassault Aviation announced a joint venture. Under the contract, Dassault was mandated to make compensation investments (offsets) in India worth 50% of the value of the purchase.
February 2017: Joint- Venture Company was formed.
Dassault Reliance Aerospace Ltd (DRAL) joint-venture is formed.
September 2018: Former French President Francois Hollande’s statement.
French publication Mediapart interviews former French president Hollande, who says that he had no choice in selecting the Indian offset partner and name of Reliance was given by Indian side. India’s Ministry of Defence issues statement reiterating that neither of the two governments were involved in commercial decision. Dassault Aviation issues statement claiming it was Dassault’s decision to choose Reliance and it had signed similar contracts with several other companies.