France confident of wrapping up sale of 36 Rafale jets within 2-3 months

France has said that the sale of 36 Rafale fighter jets to India will be completed within 2-3 months. French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian confirmed the deadline, and said he would soon travel to India to map the way ahead.

Speaking at the Paris International Air Show on June 16, Mr Le Drian said, “I’ll be going to India very soon to see how things are coming along, but I have no concerns it will happen.” “The discussions with the Indian authorities are progressing very well,” he added.

The Rafale deal was announced during India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to France in April this year, under which India agreed to purchase 36 fighter jets in fly-away condition from French manufacturer Dassault Aviation.

The defence minister held a meeting with Rao Inderjit Singh, India’s Minister of State for Defence, on the sidelines of the Paris air show and discussed the details of the project. He is expected to hold another meeting with Mr Singh in this regard.

India has launched a major defence modernisation programme under Prime Minister Modi’s “Make in India” initiative, and has sought proactive partnership with key partners, including the US, Russia, France and Germany for the success of this mission.

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