India and France signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to purchase 36 Rafale jets in a deal worth around Rs 60,000 crore. The deal has been in limbo after negotiations hit a roadblock over price issues since April last year. “We are very happy that we have formed an agreement for purchase of 36 Rafale aircrafts with France,” said PM Modi, adding that the decision taken will strengthen the bilateral relations.
The French President Francois Hollande, who is visiting India as chief guest for Republic Day said negotiations over the sale of Rafale jets are on the right track. He said that Indo-French cooperation in defence “is part of our strategic partnership. It is based on trust, a very strong trust between both our countries”.
However, both the countries are still unable to sign the final deal due to some "financial" aspects, which are expected to be sorted out within one month.
This agreement was among the 14 pacts signed between the two countries on focusing ways to enhance cooperation in counter- terrorism, civil nuclear energy, defence, space and smart cities among other issues.
The purchase of Rafale jets will certainly boost the Indian Air Force (IAF) assets and provide country with a strategic edge over its neighbours.