Mr. U-Turn? Objective analysis and disclosure

Vishnu Som @Vishnu NDTV made some interesting revelations on Twitter on 13-9-2019. He said opposition tirade against the Rafale-deal was nonsensical. He dug deep into the details and found out that the deal was a fair one. He pointed out twelve (12) remarkable, noteworthy tweets. He mentioned some details on the Euro 1.7 billion amount referred to as India Specific Upgrades. He wrote these India specific upgrades, ordered specifically on the request of the IAF, make the IAF Rafales more capable than what France operates. He also wrote contrary to what some analysts believed, these 14 India specific enhancements are not the figment of anyone’s imagination. They were a component of what the UPA failed to negotiate and are now a part of what the IAF is getting. He also emphasised that there were some crucial differences and additions in the India specific upgrades which the IAF is getting now compared to what was being negotiated earlier.

He in his twitter account, tweeted that that talks on the cost of these India specific upgrades were primarily between the IAF and Dassault during the UPA regime and had never progressed to conclusive cost negotiations between Dassault and HAL which was supposed to build Rafales in India.

He said as the end-result, it is impossible to compare the per-piece cost of the Rafales being acquired now and the Rafales being negotiated for earlier. Besides a low band jammer, towed decoy system, upgraded engine, additional modes in the radar and higher resolution in the Front Sector Optronics, there are new details available.

He also writes the Rafale with India Specific upgrades has structural differences compared with what the French operate. This is to accommodate a new Israeli satellite communications system. The confidentiality pact in this deal extends to Israel as well as France. Is Israel OK with sharing cost and other details of its equipment on the Rafale, he queried as a point to ponder over. Talking about the helmet mounted sight on Rafale, he says it is an Israeli component but there is a significant upgrade involved in making this compatible with the Meteor and Scalp missiles being acquired. Targeting and other symbology specific to these weapon systems is being integrated into this helmet mounted sight. The changes demanded by India also involve significant changes to the “Modular Data Processing Unit” (MDPU) of the Rafale, a new generation mission computer.

Some of the Twitterati questioned him on the selection of Anil Ambani and whether he could do what the HAL could not and another question was why HAL was kicked of from the deal. To this he wrote as an answer: HAL was not kicked out. HAL couldn’t produce Rafales at the price mandated by Dassault. Tech transfer happening now as well to DRDO.

Vishnu Som is not a right-winger, NDTV is not pro-BJP. Vishnu Som, being a Defence editor of the NDTV, his words carry weight. The critics of the deal should make note of. Heckling for heckling sake does not suit well for the opposition. People trust Narendra Modi, the PM, for his personal integrity.

Source: Vishnu Som @Vishnu NDTV- 13-9-2018