36 additional Rafales offered
French President Emmanuel Macron was on a state visit to India from 9 March 2018 during which time he and Prime Minister Narendra Modi signed 14 agreements, covering a number of areas from security, nuclear energy and protection of classified information to education, environment, urban development and railways. However, the India-France joint statement did not mention any acquisition of another 36 Rafale fighters despite President Emmanuel Macron’s insistence that “the defence contract is at the heart of the strategic partnership between the two countries. India had made a sovereign decision in this respect and we are monitoring progress in the field. We very much want to continue the programme. It is a long-term contract which is mutually beneficial. I personally consider it as the heart of the strategic partnership,” Macron stressed.
Prior to President Macron’s visit, French defence minister Florence Parlyhad had suggested to her Indian counterpart Nirmala Sitharaman that France “is keen to initiate discussions on the proposal of providing an additional 36 Rafales to the IAF,
On 10 March 2018, SpiceJet and CFM signed a $12.5-billion agreement for purchasing LEAP-1B engines to power the 155 Boeing 737 MAX airliners on order, along with spare engines to support the fleet. The airline also signed a 10-year Rate per Flight Hour (RPFH) agreement with CFM Services that covers all LEAP1B engines powering SpiceJet’s 737 MAX aircraft. SpiceJet currently operates a fleet of more than 38 CFM56-7B-powered Boeing 737 NG family aircraft.“From what we have seen so far, the LEAP-1B is living up to its promises for efficiency and reliability,” stated Ajay Singh, SpiceJet Chairman and Managing Director.
IAF C-17 Globemaster at Tuting
The Indian Air Force’s largest transport aircraft, the Boeing C-17 Globemaster III operated from Arunachal Pradesh’s Tuting Advanced Landing Ground (ALG) in the Upper Siang district