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Fact-Check : Fake news about France’s 28 Rafale order to malign Modi govt.

Jet's Image from: Dassault
Jet's Image from: Dassault

Yesterday NewsClick.in (and National Herald) published a so called EXCLUSIVE report on Rafale and used the same to attack the Modi government’s Rafale deal.We cross checked the story by going through the sources mentioned in the story itself and find out that all the claims and conclusions drawn by NewsClick.in (and National Herald) are fake and nothing else. Lets go throw the same and expose the lies layer by layer.

Story from NewsClick

screenshot from – NewsClick.in

Just to save some of your time let us summarise what it says :
– French govt have signed a contract with Dassault for buying upgraded version of 28 Rafale for 2 Billion Euros.
– Then it goes on to compare this against the price India is paying for 36 Rafale and conclude that French have concluded the deal in ‘Almost half the price’
– Please refer to below excerpt from news click.in regarding source they followed :

“French newspaper Le Parisien confirms the details along with defence websites, Defence News and Defence Industry DailyDefence News gives more details of the deal and the improvements in the aircraft. It writes:”

So we decided to follow all the sources just to know that NewsClick’s author has simply put a fake news. Now this could either because of the author’s inability to comprehend simple English sentences or because of some hidden agenda to malign the government and provide some more fake ammunition to opposition. This was a plain and simple news with no complexity at all but somehow they ended up making a ‘Fully Fake‘ news out of it. In order to understand the same lets see what the article in Defence News  says :

Please pay attention to word upgrade in the heading above and it shouldn’t be difficult to understand the context here. It says they have paid $2.3 billion (Euro 2 billion) to upgrade the fleet of 28 Rafale that Dassault is suppose to deliver by 2024. You don’t believe us ,no problem – lets dig deeper. Please go through below excerpt from the NewsDefence article :

Editor’s note: The €2 billion (U.S. $2.3 billion) sum mentioned in this article is for the development of the F4 standard for Rafale aircraft.

PARIS — The French government has signed a €2 billion (U.S. $2.3 billion) contract with Dassault Aviation to develop the Rafale’s F4 standard, which is expected to be validated by 2024, although some functions will be ready by 2022. French Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly also confirmed with the manufacturer that it could move forward with production of the last 28 aircraft of the 180 it has on its order books.
The 28 aircraft will include some F4 functionalities and be delivered to the French Air Force from 2023. Parly announced that a further 30 aircraft at the full F4 standard would be ordered in 2023 for delivery between 2027 and 2030, taking the French Rafale fleet to a total of 210 fighters.

Please refer to bold text in above excerpt. Let us summarise the same for you :
– The €2 billion amount mentioned in the article is for developing F4 standards for the Rafale aircraft. It is like RnD project for developing an upgraded version of aircraft with enhanced features and capabilities. The contract India signed with France govt was for F3R generation. (which is the latest generation available till date and was validated by French authorities in Nov 2018 only. French side invested Euro 1 Billion + in order to develop F3R standards ).
-These 28 aircrafts are the last lot of total 180 jets French forces have ordered so far. The total Rafale program has costed French govt around EUR 43.56 billion over 40 years, at 2011 prices.

The same findings were confirmed by Mr Alexandre Ziegler , France’s ambassador to India over twitter :

So , after all these details it become clear that this was clearly a fake news with no relation to truth . The sceptics out there seems to be so deep drenched in Rafale quagmire that they won’t leave a single chance to malign the government and raise suspicion on country’s military modernisation program. Thanks to the great apathy shown by the previous governments , our defence capabilities are quite shaken up. Even after knowing that Air force will be falling short of it’s squadron strength and is lacking in modern day fighter aircrafts , nothing much was done apart from carrying on the negotiations for 5 years and cancelling the deal in the end.

Satyamev Jayate !

Foot notes
-As per French senate the cost of overall Rafale program is pegged at EUR 43.56 billion over 40 years, at 2011 prices. As per latest updates it is supposed to deliver total 225 aircrafts to French forces at the end of program (source1 , source2).
– Qatar signed 24 Rafale jets deal in May 2015 for a total of $7.8 billion. In April 2018 it also confirmed order for additional 12 jets.
– Egypt also signed 24 Rafale jets deal in Feb 2015 at €5.2 billion (US$5.9 billion.
– you can compare the above two deals with India’s 36 aircrafts for €7.8 billion deals and judge yourself whatever it is scam or not ( just keep in mind India is getting F3R whereas Qatar/Egypt signed for F3 version + Indian jets will have multiple Indian specific enhancements )

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