French Defence Minister to Visit India: Rafale Deal


New Delhi: French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian is likely to arrive in India to carry forward the talks on finalising the deal for 36 Rafale fighter jets, sources said.

Mr. Le Drian had visted India last month. Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar had last month said that talks would be completed in “2-3 months”.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced his decision to buy 36 Rafale fighter jets during his visit to France in April, a deal worth an estimated $8 billion.

The government has set up a committee headed by Air Marshal S.B.P. Sinha who is undertaking the government-to-government negotiations with France for procurement of Rafale fighter jets for the Indian Air Force.

India has decided to buy only 36 Rafale fighter jets scrapping the earlier plan to acquire 126 of the French aircraft on grounds of huge cost.

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