Keyword: Rafale

Dassault denies being forced into business deal with Modi ally

French aerospace and defence group Dassault Aviation has issued a statement insisting it 'freely' chose India's Reliance Group, run by a businessman close to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, as its local industrial partner as part of the sale to New Delhi of 36 Rafale fighter planes, following the revelation by Mediapart of a document in which one of its senior executives is cited as saying the choice of Reliance was  'imperative and obligatory' in securing the contract. 

Indian defence minister dismisses Mediapart report

Speaking at a press briefing in Paris on Thurday, Indian defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman reiterated her government's claim that did not impose an Indian company run by a businessman close to Prime Minister Narendra Modi as local industrial partner for Dassault Aviation in the sale to New Delhi of 36 Rafale fighter planes, despite new evidence published by Mediapart suggesting that was the case.

Dassault document adds to corruption claims over Rafale sale to India

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French defence minister Florence Parly with Reliance Group chairman Anil Ambani (centre) and Dassault CEO Éric Trappier (left), inaugurating the Nagpur joint venture plant, October 27th 2017. © Reliance Group French defence minister Florence Parly with Reliance Group chairman Anil Ambani (centre) and Dassault CEO Éric Trappier (left), inaugurating the Nagpur joint venture plant, October 27th 2017. © Reliance Group

The 8 billion-euro sale to India by France of 36 Dassault Rafale jet fighters has become the centre of corruption allegations levelled against Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his close friend, Indian businessman Anil Ambani, chairman of the Reliance Group which was handed the role of local industrial partner of Dassault to build parts for the jets despite no aeronautical expertise. The claim that Ambani was given the joint venture contract as a favour by Modi to save his struggling business is the subject of a complaint lodged this month with India’s Central Bureau of Investigation. Now Mediapart has obtained a Dassault company document in which a senior executive is quoted as saying the group accepted to work with Reliance as an “imperative and obligatory” condition for securing the fighter contract. Karl Laske and Antton Rouget report.

Indian opposition calls for Modi to resign after Mediapart report

Indian political opposition groups this weekend called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi to resign after a report in Mediapart on Friday in which former French president François Hollande's comments on an 8-billion-euro fighter deal with New Delhi suggested possible favouritism by Modi in the choice of the Indian partner in the joint venture.   

 

François Hollande, his partner’s film, and the French fighter jet sale to India

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Julie Gayet and François Hollande. © Reuters Julie Gayet and François Hollande. © Reuters

The sale to India by France of 36 Dassault Rafale jet fighters, signed during the presidency of François Hollande, is at the centre of a growing scandal in India where opposition parliamentarians have demanded a detailed investigation of the deal, alleging favouritism, mismanagement of public funds, and the endangering of national security. They are notably suspicious of the circumstances by which India’s Reliance Group was assigned as Dassault’s partner in the building of the jets. As Karl Laske and Antton Rouget report here, at the very time the deal was struck, Reliance provided funding for a film produced by Hollande’s personal partner, the actress Julie Gayet.

Serge Dassault: a symbol of French-style capitalism

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Serge Dassault in 1999 posing next to a Rafale jet at the Le Bourget air show north of Paris. © Reuters Serge Dassault in 1999 posing next to a Rafale jet at the Le Bourget air show north of Paris. © Reuters

Serge Dassault, who died on May 28th, 2018, at the age of 93, was a billionaire industrialist in the aviation sector, a former Senator and mayor, and the owner of the conservative daily newspaper Le Figaro. Prevented from having a major role the family business empire until the death of his father, Serge Dassault was driven by ambition and the desire to surpass what Marcel Dassault achieved. But despite his undoubted business successes, Serge Dassault's own legacy was tarnished by corruption affairs and allegations of buying votes, and he was convicted of tax fraud in 2017. Mediapart's Yann Philippin, who has spent many years reporting on the 'Dassault method', reports.

India eyes China with bargain deal for French jets

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The Rafale fighter jet. © Dassault Aviation The Rafale fighter jet. © Dassault Aviation

The 8-billion-euro contract signed in New Delhi on Friday for the supply of 36 French-built Rafale fighter jets has been hailed by Paris as a major coup that underlines the technological prowess of the French aeronautical industry. But, Mediapart’s India correspondent Guillaume Delacroix reports, the deal was struck after France agreed to massive discounts which virtually halve the total cost. But it also marks a new defence strategy by India, which now regards China as the principal threat to its security, and no longer Pakistan.

Inked Indian deal for Rafale fighters 'stalled': report

April deal for 36 of the French jets is hit by dispute over unit prices and degree of manufacturing to be carried out in India, say informed sources.

France and Qatar ink 6.4 bln-euro contract for 24 Dassault fighter jets

President François Hollande travelled to Doha to sign the Rafale deal, the fighter plane's third foreign contract after sales to Egypt, India.

France to sell 24 Rafale fighter jets to Qatar

Deal estimated in excess of €6bn is third such contract in under 3 months and highlights recent revival of the jet’s commercial prospects.

India PM seals fighter jet deal during visit to France

Indian Prime Minister Narenda Modi said India had agreed to buy 36 Rafale jets which will be built in France, in a deal worth 4 billion euros.

Egypt's purchase of French jets financed 'by French loan'

Egyptian president said €3.2 billion of the €5.2 billion cost of buying France's Rafale fighter planes came from French government loan.

French defence minsiter heads to New Delhi to save uncertain Rafale fighter deal

Following a recent breakthrough deal to sell the Dassault jets to Egypt, Jean-Yves Le Drian will attempt to shore up a $12 billion deal with India.

Egypt, France ink contract for first Rafale fighter jet sale

French defence minister Jean-Yves Le Drian and the CEO of the jet's maker Dassault travelled to Cairo to seal the multi-billion euro deal.

Egypt to buy 24 French Rafale fighter jets

President François Hollande has confirmed a 5 billion-euro deal with Egypt for the off-the-shelf sale of the jets, a frigate and military equipment.