India, France Sign Deal For Purchase Of 36 Rafale Jets

India and France on January 25 signed a Memorandum of Understanding over the purchase of 36 Rafale medium multi-role combat aircraft built by the French aerospace major Dassault. The deal is valued at around Rs 60,000 crore.


The deal has been on the agenda since 2012, but the two countries had been struggling to come to an agreement and thus were not able to nail the deal before.


Though the financial aspects of the deal are yet to be agreed between the two countries, it looks like a watered-down version of a plan that was first unveiled in 2012.



Talking about the new deal, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that the two countries had reached an inter-governmental agreement with “financial aspects of the deal to be sorted out soon”.


At the joint address with French President Hollande, PM Modi said:

“We are very happy that we have formed an agreement for purchase of 36 Rafale aircraft with France. We will resolve the financial aspects soon.”

The Rafale deal was among the 14 pacts signed between the two countries after extensive talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and visiting French President Francois Hollande. India and France focused on ways to enhance cooperation in counter- terrorism, security and civil nuclear energy.



Talking about the two country’s partnership, PM Modi said:

“France and India have a strategic partnership of 18 years. We have a partnership branching out to various fields…I am honoured to welcome you as our guest for the Republic Day celebrations in Delhi… President Hollande is a very close friend of India.”

Hollande’s India visit had been in the talks for weeks, with the Rafale fighter jet deal taking central stage.

PM Modi had sent out an invitation to Hollande, soon after November 2015 attack in Paris which saw 130 people being killed and evoked memories of 2008 Islamist attacks on Mumbai.


IB Times

IB Times German Chancellor Angela Merkel with Hollande after Paris attacks

The invitation was seen as a move by PM Modi to show solidarity with France asking Hollande to be the chief guest at this year Republic Day Parade.


Besides the Rafale deal, French finance minister Michel Sapin said that French companies will also invest $10 billion in India over the next five years, majority of which will be directed towards the industrial sector.

Sapin said that France ‘Over the last five years, had invested more than $1 billion per year in India and that they estimate that “they will continue to invest at least $10 billion over the next five years.”

Talking about the Rafale deal, French President Hollande said:

“There are some financial issues that will be sorted out in a couple of days, but the memorandum has been signed.”

He then went on to add that the Rafale fighter jets have been “proving their mettle in Iraq and Syria,” in the war against terror group ISIS.


The Times

Rafale fighter jets on a reconnaissance mission.The times


PM Modi had also signed an inter-governmental memorandum of understanding (MoU) at Paris last year during his visit to France.

Rafale jets since then have been looked at as one of the biggest replacements for the MiGs aircrafts that are being phased out of Indian Air Force.

The 13 other agreements that have been signed between the two countries include nuclear cooperation, wherein the two counties have agreed to build six nuclear reactors in Jaitapur and the agreements to develop India’s railway as well as science and research sectors.


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