New Deal: India to buy 36 Rafale jets, France bets on Modi mission

It was a piece of news French President Francois Holland was itching to hear. And he got it from the horse’s mouth. Ending months of speculation over the big-ticket defence deal, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi told the French leader that his government has decided to buy 36 Rafale jets “in fly-away condition as quickly as possible.” The announcement by Mr Modi at a joint press meet lit up the face of the French leader and is set to bring the smiles to Dassault, the manufacturer of Rafale, and the French defence industry.
The details of the new contract in the making are not clear, but the new deal could be valued at around $4-6 billion.
“The two leaders agreed to conclude an Inter-Governmental Agreement for supply of the aircraft on terms that would be better than as conveyed by Dassault Aviation as part of a separate process underway,” said a joint statement at the end of wide-ranging talks between Mr Modi and Mr Hollande at the majestic presidential palace, Palais de L’Elysees in the heart of Paris. The delivery of the jets would “in time-frame that would be compatible with the operational requirement of IAF,” said the statement.
The aircraft and associated systems and weapons would be delivered on the same configuration as had been tested and approved by Indian Air Force, and with a longer maintenance responsibility by France, he added.

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