Rafale fighter jet deal to be sealed with France on Friday

New Delhi [India], Sept. 22 : The negotiations to buy 36 Rafale fighter jets came through on Wednesday, as India announced the decision to sign the mega deal with France this Friday.

French Defence Minister Yves Le Drian is arriving on September 23 to finalise the deal which will cost Euros 7.8 billion to India.

The development comes after Prime Minister Narendra Modi today headed the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) to discuss the deal which is crucial to boost the Indian Air Force.

In June, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar had stated that the of the fighter jets were "on path of coming to conclusion".

Both sides had hoped to wrap up the strategic order during French President Francois Hollande's visit for the Republic Day celebrations in January this year, but the bargaining over the price stalled a final result.

Parrikar said the two sides were yet to arrive at a decision on pricing.

"It's a big purchase we have to be careful and every 0.1 percent savings itself is a hundreds of crores. So let the exercise be done with some patience," he said.

Hollande and Prime Minister Narendra Modi intervened in the troubled Rafale procurement last year, ordering government-to-government talks after commercial negotiations with Dassault had collapsed.

The leaders agreed to scale back an original plan to buy 126 Rafale planes to just 36 in fly-away condition to meet the Indian Air Force's urgent needs as it faces an assertive China and long-time foe Pakistan. (ANI)