France To Sell India 126 Rafae Fighter Jets

Posted: December 3, 2014 in War Is The New Economy


SEE ALSO: U.S and Russia Sell Arms To Both Sides Of India Pakistan Tension

India about to buy 126 Rafale fighter planes from France
December 2, 2014 | UPDATED 17:10 IST

French Rafale fighter planeFrench Rafale fighter planeIndia is about to close a $15 billion defence-purchase deal with France for 126 Rafale fighter planes. The combat-tested Rafale has been in service for the French Air Force since 2006.

The deal would be France’s first foreign sale of the planes. France and French manufacturer Dassault Aviation have been trying for years to sell the jets abroad without success.

Defense spokesman Sitanshu Kar told AP on Tuesday that Indian defense minister Manohar Parrikar met his french counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian on Monday as part of an official visit to India.

“All issues related to defense were discussed including the Rafale,” Kar said. “Both sides decided to adopt a fast track approach wherever there are differences.”

A French defense official, who was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly, also said that the two defense ministers agreed to accelerate negotiations.

India has become the world’s biggest arms importer as an economic boom has allowed it to modernize its military. Major arms manufacturers are wooing the country as it replaces its obsolete Soviet-era weapons and buys new equipment. India already has a fleet of the older Mirage jets.

India’s air force has around 700 fighter aircraft and is only exceeded in size by the United States, Russia and China.

Growing worries about China’s fast-expanding military and the decades-old mistrust of Pakistan have fueled India’s impetus to add heft to its defense forces.

The Rafale has struggled to find an export market because of its high cost, complexity and a design that was a marked shift from France’s last big-name fighter jet, the Mirage.

Competing jets from the United States and Russia such as the General Dynamics F-16, McDonnell Douglas F-15 and the Sukhoi Su-27 have grabbed a large slice of the market.

Deals for Brazil, Libya and Switzerland to buy the Rafale have all fallen through, often at the last minute.


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