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First Rafale to land in India within 3-years: Thales Group CEO

Speaking to CNBC-TV18 on the Rafale deal and the possibility that may open up for both countries, Patrice Caine, Chairman and CEO, Thales Group, said there is potential of French companies transferring technology to Indian counterparts. “It is part of different possibilities that this contract offers,” he said.

According to him the first Rafale will come into India from France within three years.

India and France have finally inked the Rafale deal bringing an end to the Indian Air Force’s 10 -year long wait.

Defence minister Manohar Parrikar and his French counterpart Jean Le-Drian signed the dotted line to buy 36 High-Tech Rafale jets for Rs 58,000  crore. About 15 percent of the cost will be paid in advance. Along with the jets, India will also get spares and weaponry, including the meteor missiles which are considered to be best in the world.

The deal also has an offset clause through which France will invest 30 percents of the 58 thousand crores in India’s military aeronautics programme. The planes are expected to be delivered within 18 months.

The group will be providing all the electronic support. One-fourth the value of the aircraft actually comprises of the electronics and the sensors that is associated with the this cutting-edge platform.

Below is the verbatim transcript of Patrice Caine’s interview to Rituparna Bhuyan on CNBC-TV18.

Q: Can you take us through the contours of this deal, which was signed today? How will this deal be carried out between India and France in coming years?

A: it is a strategic partnership between two countries. It is a great day for India; it is a good day for France and of course for the different industries behind these two countries.

Q: When it comes to supplying these aircrafts, we understand that perhaps in the next two-three years, the first Rafale will land in India from France. Is that the correct assessment?

A: Exactly, within three years ahead of us.

Q: When you carry out this deal, we understand that there are other aspects like including the Indian industry and involving the Indian industry in some way or the other that has also been talked by negotiators from both sides. Has there been any finality on that, what have you heard regarding that?

A: it is a fact that we will do much more than just provide some of these aircrafts. In fact, we will tie several partnerships with some Indian companies to bring activity, to bring production in fact we are going to invest in India, in the spirit of the ‘make in India’ policy that has been launched and announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Q: You are making an important point that while many of us who were tracking this deal, we had the impression that there will be no transfer of technology but you are saying that there is a potential of French companies transferring technologies to Indian counterparts because of this deal?

A: Absolutely. It is part of different possibilities that this contract offers.