NEW DELHI: In an interview to a foreign news publication, CEO Dassault Aviation, Eric Trappier, has said that the joint venture with Reliance will meet about 10% of the offset obligations required by the 36 Rafale fighters contract with New Delhi.

Trappier explained that while the signing of an offset contract is obligatory under Indian Defence Procurement Procedure, the choice of choosing the offset partner is Dassault Aviation's prerogative.

"In full compliance with this regulation, Dassault Aviation therefore decided to set up the DRAL joint venture with Reliance and build a plant in Nagpur, which should enable us to meet about 10% of these offset obligations. We are in negotiations with about a hundred Indian companies and partnerships have already been concluded with about thirty of them," said Trappier.

His comments come after French media portal Mediapart claimed that it was in possession of a document by Dassault Aviation which said that an “alliance” with the Anil Ambani-led Reliance Defence as a “counterpart” was “imperative and mandatory” to clinch the fighter jet deal with India.

The Modi government has consistently denied any government role in the offsets part of the Rafale contract, with top officials saying on record that a selection of Indian partners was an independent choice of French companies.