During his first state visit to France, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that India will purchase 36 of Dassault Aviation’s French-manufactured Rafale fighter jets.
The final details of the deal have yet to be finalised, Modi said at a joint press conference with French President Francois Hollande on Friday.
“I have asked the President (Francois Hollande) to supply 36 ready-to-fly Rafale jets to India,” said Modi in Paris.
French and Indian officials will discuss the details and continue negotiations, said Modi.
France’s Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian would travel to India soon to finalise the deal, according to the French president.
The contract could be worth 4 billion euros ($4.24 billion), with the price of a Rafale estimated at 110 million euros without arms.
In 2012, French company Dassault Aviation entered into exclusive negotiations with India to supply 126 fighters, a deal worth 12 billion euros.
According to previous reports, the deal’s value had risen to 20 billion euros as India wanted to build 108 jets at home.
However, India seems to have relented on the clause of “Make in India” for the Rafale deal.
The Rafale, manufactured by French company Dassault Aviation, is a twin-engine delta-wing multi-role jet fighter. Since it was introduced in 2000, it only serves in the French navy.
Due to its high price, the French aircraft faces competition from Boeing’s F/A-18 Super Hornet and Gripen NG from Sweden’s Saab.
Meanwhile, India and France inked 17 cooperation pacts after talks between Modi and Hollande.
TBP and Agencies