23:37 GMT13 June 2021
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    The Indian Ministry of Defense is busy finishing up a final agreement, which is expected to be signed during French President Francois Hollande’s visit to India later this month, the Indian newspaper Financial Express reported.

    The soon-to-be-signed agreement covers the sale of 36 Rafale fighter jets from the French company Dassault.

    "This commercial negotiation is the toughest as it is pertaining to the price of the aircraft and the life-cycle costs. This would take at least a couple of weeks before it goes for approval to the MoD and the ministry of finance," a senior official from the Indian Ministry of Defense said, as quoted by the Financial Express.

    The two countries have been negotiation the Rafale deal for over three years now.

    Initially, India wanted to purchase 126 Rafale jets to modernize its aging air force. However, then the Asian country decided to cancel its request for 90 planes.

    In September 2015, the Indian Defense Ministry gave the green light for the purchase of 36 fighters from France. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Hollande agreed on the $9-billion deal for the supply of 36 planes.

    A month ago, it was reported that France had agreed to reinvest 50 percent worth of the contract on the Rafale fighters into the Indian economy.

    Still trying to squeeze the best out of the deal, the Indian Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar said he hoped that India would negotiate up to 25 percent discount for the jets, which would be 75 million euro ($82 million) instead of 105 million euros for each aircraft.

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


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    arms deal, Rafale fighter jets, Indian Defense Ministry, Narendra Modi, Francois Hollande, India, France
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