16 Feb 2017 15:35 IST

We don't have time to implement offsets under present Rafale order: Thales

'Thales is looking to build new partnerships with Indian companies'

Thales Group has said it will not be procuring from Indian companies to execute the existing Rafale order of 36 fighters. The company plans to execute its offset obligations through future orders of Rafale as well as other programmes.

Thales, which owns one-fourth of the ₹60,000-crore Rafale contract, is one of the main suppliers of Dassault Aviation that makes the Rafale aircraft. It supplies radars, electronic warfare solutions, display systems, software, communication and identification solutions, among others, to Dassault.

“For the existing Rafale contract we basically would involve Indian companies as sub-contractors and in addition we will have a look at transferring technologies that could lead to manufacturing products in India for potential future Rafale orders. But we have no time on the existing Rafale programme to transfer technology to India for India-made equipment. That could only be done in the context of a potential Rafale programme,” Pascale Sourisse, Senior Executive Vice-President, International Development, Thales told BusinessLine on the sidelines of Aero India 2017.

For the current Rafale programme, which is based on the off-the-shelf delivery approach, the company will involve only those Indian companies that are part of our supply chain already, Sourisse said.

“We are of course using the industrial scheme that we have used so far to supply the Rafale aircraft. We do not have time to implement a completely different scheme with different players. So the approach we take is that we are going to use the Indian companies we know that can be part of our supply chain, plus we will implement our offset scheme through new possibilities concerning future Rafale programmes and for other projects which are not necessarily linked to Rafale.

As a result, she added, Thales is looking to build new partnerships with Indian companies as well as integrating with its existing partner in the country to explore new projects such as radars, missiles and rockets that will be meant both for India and also for the export market.

“We are having discussions with several partners on which we need to work. But the offset doesn’t need to be fulfilled based on the Rafale project. It involves number of activities. What matters is what is made in India,” she added.

Thales is part of the joint venture between Dassault Aviation and Reliance Aerostructure Ltd that has been formed to execute a 50 per cent offset obligation worth nearly ₹30,000 crore.

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