Modi seals deal for 36 Rafale jets from France
HISTORIC Decision among several agreements reached between two countries
PARIS: After a productive first day in Paris that ended with the signing of 17 agreements, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Friday that India will soon buy 36 Rafale jets in ‘fly-away condition’ while French President Francois Hollande announced an investment of 2 billion euros in India.
The deals also i ncluded one between French nuclear engineering company Areva and Larsen & Toubro aimed at reducing cost and increasing localization of the stalled Jaitapur nuclear project in Maharashtra. Another ‘ preengineering’ agreement between Areva and the Nuclear Power Corporation of India seeks to “bring clarity to all technical aspects” of the plant.
Modi said the 36 Dassault Aviation planes were being bought to deal with the Indian Air Force’s “critical operational necessity”. The announcement came hours after HT, in an exclu- sive report, said India was seriously considering the purchase of two squadrons of the fighter jets via the government-to-government route.
This deal is separate from a larger 126-plane deal still being negotiated between the two countries, a French defence ministry source said.
A joint statement said Modi and Hollande had agreed that the terms of the new Rafale purchase “would be better”. >> CONTINUED ON P8