The process of discussing between India and France to buy 36 French Rafale fighter jets are almost cleared, said by defence ministry sources say that the price will be set at around $9 billion (approximately INR 65,000 crore). Both sides had hoped to wrap up the strategic order during President Francois Hollande’s visit for India’s Republic Day celebration in January, but hard bargaining on price stalled a final result. In last year April, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced in Paris that India would buy the French fighter jets under a government-to-government deal, scrapping the original plan to buy 126 Rafales after commercial negotiations with plane-maker Dassault Aviation collapsed.

Presently India requires 45 fighter squadrons to encounter threat from China and Pakistan, but it has only 34 squadrons with about 18 planes each. And 14 of these squadrons are equipped with vintage MiG-21 and MiG-27 fighter planes.

Rafale specs
  • Wing span: 10.90 m
  • Length: 15.30 m
  • Height: 5.30 m
  • External load: 9.5 tons
  • Service ceiling: 50,000 ft
  • Overall empty weight: 10 tons
  • Max take-off weight: 24.5 tons

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