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‘Capable of manufacturing Rafale jets’, says HAL chief R Madhavan

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Chairman of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited- R Madhavan said on Friday that the HAL is capable of producing the Rafale aircraft but he also suggested in the current order of just 36 aircraft, the the question of transfer of technology does not arise.

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According to reports, the Congress has alleged that Narendra Modi government is buying the military aircraft from French company Dassault Aviation at a much higher price than what was being negotiated by the previous UPA government, which planned to procure 126 aircraft.

Also, the Opposition has accused the government of ignoring the state-owned HAL while negotiating the agreement, suggesting that some of the aircraft could have been manufactured by it through transfer of technology.

Earlier, when the initial discussions were on, R Madhavan had said that HAL was capable of production of the fighter jets.

He also asserted, “As the current government decided to purchase 36 aircraft separately it was necessary to buy them as soon as possible. For the 36, the question of production here does not arise.”

He added that if the 126 aircraft were bought, some would have been purchased outright and others produced in the country.

He mentioned that the HAL was not part of the process of the current deal.

While rejecting the Congress’ charge that it paid an inflated price, the government said that the cost of a fully-loaded aircraft could not be compared with that of a basic aircraft.

Apparently, the HAL chairman was in Udaipur to address an engineers’ conference.

In the conference, HAl chairman R Madhavan said, “We need to make our students employable and skilled. We also need to increase investment in research and development.”

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