You get a Sukhoi pluas Tejas in price of one Rafale, says Parrikar

New Delhi: Opening up his mind for the first time about huge price of Rafale fighter aircraft, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar today said Indigenous Tejas and Russian Su-30 can be purchased with money required to buy one Rafale. Comparing the indigenous Light Combat Aircraft with France's Rafale, Mr Parrikar said in terms of avionics,electronics and fire-power, Tejas was as good as Rafale, which India intends to buy from France. Giving an idea of Rafale's price, the Defence Minister, in an interview to All India Radio, said one fighter may cost India in the range of Rs 700 to 750 crore while a Su-30 cost is about Rs 475 crore, Compare to these planes India's Tejas is in the range of Rs 200 to 250 crore only. " Our Tejas is having the same qualities as Rafale does. Although Tejas is in light weight category, with its range also half compared to Rafale, but in terms avionics, electronics and fire power it is no less to Rafale," said Mr Parrikar. Throwing open the race for fighter aircraft again, Mr Parrikar said India will select a good fighter by the end of this financial year, which is to be manufactured under 'Make-in-India' initiative. "It is not yet decided which aircraft it would be. It may be Rafale, Eurofighter or grippen. The decision in this regard will be taken in this financial year," he said. Mr Parrikar has flagged the issue of Rafale being too expansive at time when a contract is yet to be finalized for procurement of 36 fighters from Dassault Aviation of France with issue of cost still under intense negotiation. To a question when the Rafale contract is likely to be finalized, Mr Parrikar said, " I can not tell you the date. It will be completed soon, we are very near to it. Some weeks more needed to complete the contract." He said the price was still under negotiation. "You will have to bring down the cost. If you throw away the price they demand, our coffer will soon become empty," said Mr Parrikar.

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