Dassault CEO’s Interview Digs Bigger Hole for Modi Government on Rafale

In an interview to CNBC-TV18 this week that was presumably meant to allay all doubts and misgivings in India about the Rafale deal, Dassault Aviation CEO Eric Trappier ended up contradicting what the Modi government and its ministers have been saying in defence of the prime minister’s decision to purchase 36 fighter jets in fly-away condition from France.

Indeed, on eight key issues that have been the subject of questions and controversy, Trappier has only served to muddy the waters, weakening the explanations that the government, BJP leaders, Anil Ambani and Dassault itself have been saying till now.

1. Questions about timing and process followed

At the start of the interview, Trappier was asked what the status of the talks for the sale of 126 aircraft – as was envisaged at the time – in the run up to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s April 10, 2015 announcement which effectively scrapped the negotiations on the medium multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA) contract. Read More

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