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Indian cabinet approves purchase of 36 Rafale fighter jets: Source

India's cabinet cleared the purchase of 36 Rafale fighter jets from Dassault Aviation on Wednesday, paving the way for signing a deal that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is betting on to modernise the air force, a government source told Reuters. Photograph: (Getty)

WION New Delhi, Delhi, India Sep 21, 2016, 03.40 PM (IST)
India's cabinet committee on security cleared the purchase of 36 Rafale fighter jets from France’s Dassault on Wednesday, a senior defence ministry official said.

"The deal was approved at the meeting in the evening. It will now be formally signed by Indian and French defence ministers on September 23 in New Delhi," the senior official told AFP. 

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is betting on the deal to modernise the country’s air force, a government source told Reuters.

The overall cost of the 36 twin-engine Rafales, along with their weapon packages, associated supplies and logistics, is pegged at around 7.8 million Euros, according to Times of India.

Under the deal, India will get 36 Rafale jets in fly-away condition. India's fighter aircraft fleet, comprising Russian, British and French planes, is down to 33 squadrons as against the air force's requirement of 45 to counter a "two-front collusive threat" from Pakistan and China.

The deal will be formally signed on Friday, the source, who did not wish to be named as he is not authorised to speak to the media, said to Reuters.

(WION with inputs from agencies)
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