India, France sign deal for 36 Rafale fighter jets
New Delhi: India and France today signed the much awaited Euro 7.87-billion (Rs 590,000 million) deal for the Multirole Rafale fighter jets that would be equipped with latest missiles and weapon system besides special configuration to give the Indian Air Force greater striking capacity against Pakistan.
The Inter-Governmental Agreement was signed by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and the visiting French Defence Minister Jean Yves Le Drian.
During Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to France (April 9-11, 2015), a joint statement by India and France noted that the Government of India had conveyed to the Government of France that in view of the critical operational necessity for Multirole Combat Aircraft for Indian Air Force, Government of India would like to acquire 36 Rafale jets in fly-away condition as quickly as possible. The two leaders had then agreed to conclude an Inter-Governmental Agreement for supply of the aircraft on terms that would be better than conveyed by Dassault Aviation as part of a separate process underway; the delivery would be in time-frame that would be compatible with the operational requirement of IAF; and that the aircraft and associated systems and weapons would be delivered on the same configuration as had been tested and approved by Indian Air Force, and with a longer maintenance responsibility by France.