Thu, 07 Feb 2013 12:32:25 GMT | By AFP

Negotiations over $12 billion Rafale jet deal next week in Delhi

The Rafale has carried out bombing missions in Afghanistan, Libya and most recently in Mali, where it is currently flying sorties targeting Islamist militants


Negotiations over $12 billion Rafale jet deal next week in Delhi (© Reuters)

Bangalore: France's Dassault Aviation hopes to conclude its $12-billion deal to sell Rafale jets to India this year, with negotiations set to be taken up by President Francois Hollande next week. "The ideal would be to sign it in 2013," Dassault chief executive Eric Trappier told AFP in an interview about the world's biggest defence deal at India's air show in Bangalore. "It's not that surprising that it takes a bit of time," he said, pointing out that the contract involved production of 126 state-of-the-art fighters in France and India over a 15-20 year period.

He also confirmed Indian negotiators had detailed their needs for an additional 63 planes beyond the initial order of 126, as reported after a visit by External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid to Paris in January.

"It's to let us know that they'll need the assembly lines for a long time," he said. Mr Hollande is to visit New Delhi on February 14-15 on his first trip to India since being elected in May. Trappier will be in the delegation.

"I don't think there are military aircraft sales without good political relations," said Mr Trappier. Dassault is one of the big names at this week's Aero India as it shows off the Rafale which beat competition from six rivals from Russia, the US and Europe last year.

(Continued)
MSN Mobile News

get connected

Follow.Share.ConnectTwitterRSSMobile

news videos

more news videos