“The incident occurred on Sunday and an investigation is underway. It is Dassault Aviation’s responsibility as it has been on their premises,” a defence source told The Hindu.
A theft was reported in the Paris office of the Indian Air Force (IAF) Project Management Team (PMT) overseeing the Rafale fighter deal.
“The incident occurred on Sunday and an investigation is underway. It is Dassault Aviation’s responsibility as it has been on their premises,” a defence source told The Hindu. The PMT consists of four IAF officers headed by a Group Captain.
In September 2016, India and France signed a €7.87 billion Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) in September 2016 for 36 Rafale multi-rolejets in fly-away condition and also has a 50% offset clause to be executed by the French partners. As per terms of the IGA, deliveries will begin 36 months after the signing of the contract and should be completed in 67 months.
IAF has a PMT in France to monitor the implementation of the deal which also involves significant modifications to the aircraft to incorporate the 13 India Specific Enhancements (ISE).
The local police have been informed and a case has been registered, a second source said. Defence Ministry and IAF officials when contacted declined to comment on the matter.
The first aircraft built by Dassault Aviation for the IAF, a two seater variant, made its maiden flight on October 30 in France and is designated RB-008 and it will be the last aircraft to be delivered in 2022.
IAF plans to base the Rafale at two locations, at Ambala and Hasimara, and infrastructure is coming up to house the jets.
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