Indian and France to overcome differences and fast-track
ongoing negotiations for the purchase of 126 Rafale fighter jets from
France, a Defence Ministry spokesperson said.
The decision came during discussions between visiting
French Defence Minister Yves Le Drian and his Indian counterpart, Manohar
Parrikar. Both sides also decided to expand strategic cooperation, the
Negotiations have been going on since 2012 when India
selected Dassault Rafale from among competing medium multi-role combat
aircraft. Differences cropped up between the two sides on delivery
guarantees and price.
The tender stipulates that the first 18 jets should come
in “fly-away” condition from France, while the remaining 108 will be
manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL) in India over seven years
with Transfer of Technology (ToT).
Dassault has refused to give delivery guarantees for
HAL-made aircraft, which the Air Force is insisting on. With the ToT, the
cost too escalated from the initial estimate of $10 billion to almost $30