PARIS: On the first day of his three-day visit to France, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday announced “India will buy 36 Rafale jets from France in fly-away condition soon.”

The announcement was made after his meeting with French President Francois Hollande in Paris.

While addressing the media jointly with the French President, PM Modi said, “Keeping in view the critical operational necessity of fighter aircrafts in India, I have spoken with the President Hollande for buying 36 Rafale jets in fly-away condition as soon as possible,” adding these jets will be bought under an agreement between the two governments.

The officials from both the sides will discuss the terms and conditions of the deal in details and take it forward, said Modi.

“The two countries would work together in manufacturing defence equipment and developing technology,” Modi added.

Modi further said, “President Hollande has extended his full cooperation for our ‘Make In India’ campaign in the defence sector which is an ambition, not just a programme.”

While addressing in Hindi, Modi said, “I talked with French defence companies in details and today we have taken strategic cooperation with France to a new level.”

The original deal, with an estimated cost of $20 billion, was for delivery of 126 fighters, including 18 off-the-shelf jets by Dassault Aviation, and 108 to be manufactured in India under licensed production by the state-run Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) in Bengaluru, with 50 percent offset obligations to benefit the domestic aerospace industry.

(With IANS Inputs)

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