Amidst allegations that Dassault Aviation had no say in the matter of it appointing Anil Ambani's Reliance Defence as a partner for the Rafale deal, the aviation company has come up with a clarification that ‘it chose’ Reliance.
In a press release on 21 September, Dassault says "The deal is within the framework of the Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) 2016 regulations and is in accordance with the policy of Make in India, Dassault Aviation has decided to make a partnership with India’s Reliance Group.
Rejecting any possibility of a forced negotiation the French company said, "This is Dassault Aviation’s choice, as CEO Eric Trappier had explained in an interview published in MINT newspaper on April 17, 2018. This partnership has led to the creation of the Dassault Reliance Aerospace Ltd (DRAL) joint-venture in February 2017."
Both Dassault Aviation and Reliance had built a plant in Nagpur for manufacturing parts for Falcon and Rafale aircraft. The Nagpur site was best suitable since the availability of land with direct access to an airport runway which is an essential condition for aeronautic activities, the press release says.
Earlier a French journal reported that the choice of Anil Ambani led Reliance group was forced upon Dassault quoting an alleged interview with the French President, following which Dassault came up with explanations clearing all the rumours.
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