NEW DELHI: A break-in has taken place at the Indian Air Force’s office inside the Dassault Aviation complex in Paris that is supervising the production of 36 Rafale fighters for India.
“It was on Sunday that a break-in was found in the office of the Indian Project Management Team. It was reported to the local police,” a source told this newspaper and added, “Prima facie nothing was missing. But all the documents and data are kept there. So it remains to be ascertained if all the documents are accounted for.”
The defence ministry has been briefed about the incident and a thorough investigation into whether there was any theft of documents is going on, the source told the paper.
The Air Force’s Project Management Team is headed by an officer of Group Captain rank and its office is located in the Saint Cloud suburb of Paris.
The team looks after all the issues related to the Rafale combat aircraft, including the production timelines and training of Indian personnel for maintenance and flying operations of the India-specific planes.
Two fighter pilots, a logistics officer and a number of weapons experts and engineers are also part of the Indian team in Paris.
An inter-governmental agreement was signed on 23 September 2016 between India and France for the procurement of 36 Rafale aircraft in direct fly-away condition with weapons, long-term maintenance support, simulators and other associated equipment. The total cost of the project is about Rs 58,000 crore.
Brahmos test successful
The IAF successfully carried out the test-firing of its supersonic BrahMos cruise missile on Wednesday from its frontline Su-30 MKI fighter aircraft in the Andaman and Nicobar islands.