French Govt Firefights Blacklist Of Dassault Exec

The French Embassy in Delhi and Dassault Aviation's office in Paris are working to firefight a nightmarish development (reported in the Times of India today, see previous post) in which Dassault's face in India, Posina V Rao has reportedly been blacklisted by the Indian Air Force.

I did a little poking around with my sources in the MoD and here's what's turned up. Mr Rao raised a formal complaint during or shortly after the Aero India 2011 show with Satyajeet Rajan, joint secretary in charge of exports at the MoD's department of defence production, the nodal agency overseeing the air show. When the complaint was processed onward to the IAF, a response came back suggesting that the impropriety of the accused IAF officer -- Wg Cdr AK Thakur -- should have been flagged to IAF authorities at the show, and not to the MoD. Interestingly, the MoD doesn't appear to have taken any formal view on the Dassault executive, nor is it commenting on the IAF's decision.

I know Mr Rao professionally and I was in touch with him during Aero India 2011 (where I flew in a Dassault Rafale at the invitation of the French government). I haven't had a chance to speak with him for his version of events, but sources indicate that he has been asked to lie low while the French government addresses the issue with the IAF and MoD. Sources at Dassault indicate that no formal communication has reached Dassault Aviation regarding the development, though they did not confirm whether the French Embassy had been intimated. Am trying to get more information and will post.

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