The Congress on Saturday asked the Centre how the price of the Rafale fighter aircraft went up when ‘India-specific enhancements’ for it were the same as were decided during the UPA rule, mounting attack against the BJP on the issue.
Seeking replies from Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala asked when the ‘associated systems and weapons’ were the same as approved by the Indian Air Force during UPA regime, then how did the cost per aircraft had gone up now.
Accusing the NDA government at the Centre of “compromising national security”, the Congress leader asked why did the BJP-led Centre allegedly forego ‘transfer of technology’ and reduced the number of aircraft under Rafale deal from 126 to 36.
“It is now clear that the ‘India-specific enhancements’ mentioned by Modi and Sitharaman on the floor of Parliament and outside are those which were pre-decided by IAF at the time tender of 126 Rafale fighter aircrafts issued by Congress-led UPA government,” Mr Surjewala said.
He claimed that air staff qualitative requirements provided for 13 India-specific enhancements during UPA rule, which were radar-enhancements, helmet-mounted display, towed decoy system, low-band jammer, radio altimeter and ability to start and operate from high altitude airfields.
“If these specifications had been pre-decided during UPA government and these are the same on which the Modi government is buying Rafale fighter…