CAG report on Rafale says NDA 2015 deal 2.86% cheaper than UPA's: Key terms, abbreviations and jargon explained

Aircraft Supply Protocol:  Though not defined exclusively, the aircraft supply protocol is the standard operating procedure (SOP) which the Government of India has to follow to ensure its interests aren't diluted. take to be followed by a supplier following the purchase of an aircraft by the Indian government. The protocol lists out the condition in which the aircraft has to be supplied, the systems which had to be installed and are part of the purchase, as well terms for the supply of spare parts, training of staff, technology to be transferred, and the time limit under which it has to be done. In the 2016 Rafale deal signed by the BJP government, 36 Rafale jets had to be supplied to India in fly-away conditions.

Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS): Chaired by the Prime Minister of India, the Cabinet Committee on Security is the final decision-making body on all matters of national security right from making appointments in the national security apparatus to determining India's defence policy. Besides, the prime minister, the CCS includes the Minister of External Affairs, Minister of Home Affairs, Minister of Finance and the Minister of Defence.

 CAG report on Rafale says NDA 2015 deal 2.86% cheaper than UPAs: Key terms, abbreviations and jargon explained

File image of a Rafale jet. Wikimedia Commons

Complete Knocked Down (CKD): A manufacturing term under which a product is delivered in the form of parts, which have to be assembled at the destination. CKD helps brings down the cost while also creating new jobs in the destination site.

Deputy Chief of Air Staff (DCAS): According to the CAG report, in 2016, the Deputy Chief of the Air Staff had intimated the ministry that the Indian specific enhancements scope could be reduced by postponing six enhancements in the Rafale aircraft. The proposal, however, was rejected by the Ministry of Defence because that was tantamount to dilution of Air Staff Qualitative Requirements (ASQRs) submitted by the Indian Air Force.

Engineering Support Package (ESP): This is one of two options for long term maintenance support, which Dassault Aviation was asked to quote in its tender. The ESP or spares support in the 207 deal included spares for the aircraft, engines and avionics. According to CAG report, Dassault, however, quoted the price for ESP as well as Performance Based Logistics (a maintenance contract guaranteeing a certain level of performance) in the contract deal and charged an excess of 6.54 percent over the audit aligned price for both the packages.

HUMS: The Health and Usage Monitoring System (HUMS) is a network of sensors distributed throughout the airframe including critical systems and components of an aircraft, which are then linked to a central computer unit with a data recording and storage system. HUMS is a critical safety system as it can detect or give indications of progressive defects in advance. HUMS allow possible identification and rectification of defects before they have an immediate effect on operational safety of an aircraft.

India-France Joint Statement: This refers to the 2015 statement that India and France released in 2015 when Prime Minister Narendra Modi had visited France. A joint statement usually declares the intent of two principal parties to strive to achieve a set of goals with regards to a topic of mutual concern. When signed between two sovereign nations — India and France in this case — it details their commitment to a cause — for example, France agreeing to allow Dassault Aviation to sell Rafale jets to India — on mutually agreed terms.

It, however, is not a legally binding instrument, which means that neither India or France could take each other to an international court or the UN for violating the goals mentioned in the India-France statement. When it comes to joint statements between two sovereign nations, its success or failure depends entirely on the nature of relations shared by two governments and is subject to change with a change in government in either party. A joint statement is usually the first step in establishing ties or cooperation on a subject between the two countries.

Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA): Depending on the language used in an inter-governmental agreement, it could be a legally binding instrument or just a statement signed to solve problems of mutual concern. It's often subject to certain terms and conditions and can be made "between or among a broad range of governmental or quasi-governmental entities".

Governments use IGAs for cooperative planning, development review, resource sharing and more. In the Rafale deal, it's referred to the 2016 agreement signed between France and India confirming the purchase of the Rafale jet and the terms and agreements that will be applicable on both parties and the supplier Dassault Aviation.

Indian Negotiation Team (INT): A team headed by Air Marshal RKS Bhadauria had negotiated the purchase of the 36 Rafale aircraft from December 2015 till September 2016 when the contract was signed with France for acquiring 36 Rafale fighter jets. Bhadauria had over the Chairmanship from Air Marshal SBP Sinha, who headed the negotiations team before he got promoted and was posted as the Central Air Commander in Allahabad.

The goal of the Indian negotiation team was to get the best deal for India — right from the specifications of the Rafale aircraft to pricing and their delivery. According to reports, three members in the Indian negotiation team for the Rafale deal had submitted an eight-page dissent note on the deal while accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the Rafale deal. However, Bhadauria told ANI on Wednesday that the note was mere observations made by the "three members part of the deliberations of the INT and could not be viewed as a 'dissent note'".

India-specific enhancements (ISE): These are customised changes in the Rafale aircraft which Dassault Aviation was providing as part of the deal. According to the CAG report, the Indian Air Force had pointed out that four such enhancements were not needed during the technical trial of the aircraft in 2010. However, they got included in the deal despite IAF making several attempts to reduce them. The Modi govt had argued in favour of the 2016 deal stating that the India-specific enhancements would be ready within 71 months of signing the deal unlike the 72 months agreed in the 2007 deal.

Mermoz Test Benches: These are tool testing and ground equipment which were included along with the price of the aircraft in the 2016 deal. In the 2007 deal, these were part of the arrangement with of the Transfer of Technology arrangement and were to be set up at HAL air base.

OEM: An abbreviation of the original equipment manufacturer. In the Rafale deal, Dassault Aviation was the OEM.

Performance Based Logistics (PBL): A maintenance contract guaranteeing a certain level of performance in the aircraft. in the 2007 deal, Dassault had quoted a certain price for five years covering a certain number of flying hours of the jet. This amount was changed in the 2016 deal and included a changed number of flying hours during the warranty as well as outside the warranty. The CAG claims Dassault charged an excess of 6.54 percent in the 2016 deal.

Simulator and Simulator Training Aids Annual Maintenance (STAAM): Dassault was expected to provide the Simulator and STAAM on a build, operate and maintain basis with a usage charge/operating cost (terms and conditions and prices to decided later) to be paid to Dassault on a regular basis. However, in the 2016 agreement, it was offered for outright purchase.

Transfer of Technology: Under the 2007 deal, Dassault Aviation was expected to transfer technology to build Rafale jets to HAL and the high cost for technology transfer was absorbed into the cost of the aircraft. However, in the 2016 agreement, there was no transfer of technology.

Weapon Supply Protocol: This defines and the terms and conditions which have to be fulfilled by the supplier following the purchase of a weapons system. The protocol is based on the qualitative requirements of the force purchasing the weapon system.

Updated Date: Feb 14, 2019 10:51:17 IST