French envoy says no scandal in Rafale deal, 'very good' aircraft will join Indian Air Force within six months

  • I do not see any scandal. What I see is a very good aircraft which has been purchased by the Government of India, the French envoy said

  • The aircraft will probably come here (Bengaluru) first and will join the Indian Air Force within six months, he said

  • The Narendra Modi government had signed an inter-governmental agreement with France in 2016 for the purchase of 36 Rafale fighter jets

Bengaluru: Ambassador of France to India Alexandre Ziegler on Wednesday rejected charges of corruption in the multi-billion USD Rafale jet deal and said the "very good" aircraft is expected to join the Indian Air Force within six months.

 French envoy says no scandal in Rafale deal, very good aircraft will join Indian Air Force within six months

Alexandre Ziegler in Bengaluru on Wednesday. ANI

Speaking to ANI in Bengaluru, he said, "I do not see any scandal. What I see is a very good aircraft which has been purchased by the Government of India. The aircraft will probably come here (Bengaluru) first and will join the Indian Air Force within six months."

The Narendra Modi government had signed an inter-governmental agreement with France in 2016 for the purchase of 36 Rafale fighter jets. The fighter jet is a twin-engine Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft, which security analysts believe can be a 'game-changer' for India's defence system.

Attacking the Modi government, the Congress and other opposition parties have alleged that there was corruption in the high-profile deal and Reliance Defence, owned by industrial Anil Ambani, had been signed as the offset partner by aircraft manufacturer Dassault Aviation even though the company had no previous experience.

Updated Date: Feb 21, 2019 12:17:06 IST