16:20 GMT +323 October 2019
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    India Gives French Rafale Fighters Deal Green Light - Source

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    The Indian Defense Ministry’s top acquisition body on Wednesday gave a go ahead to the decision to continue with the purchase of 36 Rafale fighter jets from France, the ministry's sources said.

    NEW DELHI (Sputnik) — The decision was adopted at the Defense Acquisition Council meeting under the Chairmanship of Indian Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar, according to the sources.

    The India and France intergovernmental agreement regarding the purchase will be signed in New Delhi during the upcoming visit of French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian to India, the sources said.

    On Friday, local media reported the French defense minister would arrive in New Delhi on Tuesday to sign an intergovernmental agreement on the Rafale deal, which could be followed by the signing of a commercial contract.

    As the India's Defense Acquisition Council was yet to give its final nod, the French defense minister's visit was delayed, the sources said.

    In April, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Francois Hollande agreed to supply the Indian Air Force with 36 French-built Rafale fighters.

    Two countries have been negotiating the deal for over three years, during which time the deal's budget has almost doubled.

    The initial price quoted to India for each of the 36 Rafale aircraft was 25 percent higher than the $200-million price tag offered to the Indian prime minister during his April visit to France.

    The Rafale is a French fourth generation multirole twin-engine fighter aircraft designed and built by Dassault Aviation.


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