India close to signing Rafale jet deal with France

Three Rafale M jet fighters (up) and an E2C (bottom) aircraft fly during the annual Bastille Day military parade on the Champs-Elysees avenue in Paris. Photograph:( AFP )

Reuters New Delhi, Delhi, India Sep 15, 2016, 04.25 PM (IST)
India is all set to finalise the deal to buy 36 fighter jets from France, a defence ministry official said on Thursday.

The cabinet will meet next week to agree upon a price, Reuters reported.

Indian had agreed to pay 7.87 billion euros (USD 8.84 billion) for the Dassault Aviation jets and is likely to sign the deal on September 23, according to the Reuters report.

The two sides have been involved in extensive talks over the price and other terms of the deal.

"We expect to sign the deal once the cabinet approves," a defence ministry official told Reuters.

France President Francois Hollande and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi intervened in the procurement for the Rafale jets in 2015, initiating government-to-government talks after several years of commercial negotiations with Dassault had failed.

The leaders modified the original plan to buy 126 Rafale planes and have now agreed to buy 36 in fly-away condition to meet the Indian Air Force's urgent needs.

(WION with inputs from Reuters)