French Defence Minister arrives in India to ink Rafale fighter deal

| Friday, September 23, 2016 - 11:39
First Published |
Rafale deal, Rafale jet deal, Rafale fighter jets, India, France, Manohar Parrikar, Yves Le Drian, Rafale jets deal, India France deal, National news

French Defence Minister Yves Le Drian arrives in India to ink Rafale fighter deal

New Delhi: The French Defence Minister Yves Le Drian has arrived in India along with CEOs of Dassault Aviation, Thales and MBDA and top government officials to finalise the Rafale deal which will cost India 7.87 billion euros ($8.84 billion).

The deal will be signed today in the presence of Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and Drian, Defence Ministry said.

The deal for the 36 Rafale fighter jets is the first deal between the two countries in 20 years.

According to sources, the deal will cost 7.87 billion euros, after tough negotiation from the Indian side which led to delay in finalisation of the deal, which includes weapons and spares apart from 36 jets in flyaway condition. This also includes air-to-air Meteor missiles.

 A team from France was present in the national capital since last few weeks and hectic negotiations were on for conclusion of the deal.

 According to sources, the Prime Minister's Office has pushed for concluding the deal early, after more than year-long negotiations, during which the price was a major sticking point.

 In 2012, India decided to ink a deal for 126 Rafale jets.

 As the deal could not work out, another deal for purchasing 36 Rafale combat jets in fly-away condition was inked during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to France in April last year.

 Both the sides also agreed to conclude an inter-governmental agreement for supply of the aircraft after which a negotiating team was constituted.


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