New Delhi, January 7: In another twist in the AgustaWestland scam case, middleman Christian Michel was also pitching for Eurofighter Typhoon in the proposed Rafale deal by the previous United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government. According to a report published by India Today, Michel along with Guido Haschke was strategised for Rafale's competitor Eurofighter to win the deal in its favour. During raids at middleman Haschke's residence and offices, a ‘strategy paper’ was seized. The paper revealed that both are trying to put Eurofighter Typhoon in a ‘win zone’. Arun Jaitley Counters Rahul Gandhi on Rafale Deal Row With 5 Points
According to the report, it was mentioned in the paper that there was a need to engage an "in-country bureaucratical and political navigator". It was also mentioned in the document that the man which should be contacted should be working in the Ministry of Defence and should be well aware of the working of the ministry and should have direct contacts with top bureaucrats and politicians including the prime minister.
The paper recovered from Haschke's residence revealed that the middlemen were planning to lobby three Indian Air Force officials including Chief of Maintenance Command, Air Officer Maintenance and Chief of Engineering. In August 2007, the Indian government released a request for proposal (RFP) to buy 126 Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA). Dassault Aviation’s Rafale was competing against five other fighter jets including Eurofighter Typhoon. Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Never Interfered in AgustaWestland Deal, Says Former Defence Minister AK Antony
After coming to power in 2014, the NDA government scrapped the proposed deal by the previous UPA government and signed a new deal in September 2016, worth Rs 59,000 to acquire 36 jets in ready to fly condition. According to this new deal, 75 percent Rafale fleet will always be operational.