MOSCOW (Sputnik) — According to the India Today newspaper, Indian Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar hopes that India will negotiate up to 25 percent discount for the jets, which would be 75 million euro ($82 million) instead of 105 million euro for each aircraft.
Two countries have been negotiating the deal for over three years.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Hollande agreed on the $9-billion deal to supply the Indian Air Force with 36 French-built Rafale multirole fighters in April.
In September, the Indian Defense Ministry’s top acquisition body gave a go ahead to the decision to continue with the purchase of 36 Rafale fighter jets from France.
The Rafale is a French fourth-generation multirole twin-engine fighter aircraft designed and built by Dassault Aviation.
The supply of full consignment of 36 fighters to the Indian Air Force is expected to be completed within seven years from signing of the deal.
Currently, India’s air force operates 35 fighter squadrons but requires 10 more.
Initially, India planned to buy 126 Rafale jets to modernize its air force. However, in July, New Delhi cancelled its request for 90 jets.
According to Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha, New Delhi also planned to purchase Russian-developed Su-30MKI aircraft and Indian-made TejasMK-II planes for Indian Air Force. According to Raha, the need for new fighters stems from the upcoming retirement of the country's Soviet-made Mig-27 ML fighter jets that have not been upgraded in recent years.