India working on details as Rafale deal inches closer

PARIS Thu Jan 10, 2013 10:54pm IST

Foreign Minister Salman Khurshid speaks during a news conference in New Delhi January 9, 2013. REUTERS/B Mathur/Files

Foreign Minister Salman Khurshid speaks during a news conference in New Delhi January 9, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/B Mathur/Files

Related Topics

Stocks

   
Polluted waters of China

Polluted waters of China

Growing cities, overuse of fertilizers, and factory wastewater have degraded China's water supplies to the extent that half the nation's rivers and lakes are severely polluted.  Slideshow 

PARIS (Reuters) - India is ironing out contract details on a purchase of French Rafale fighter jets that has been under negotiation over the past year, Foreign Minister Salman Khurshid said during a visit to Paris on Thursday, suggesting that a deal could be close.

India chose Dassault Aviation's (AVMD.PA) Rafale for a possible 126-plane order in January 2012 ahead of the competing Eurofighter Typhoon EAD.PA (SIFI.MI) (BAES.L) and started exclusive talks, lifting hopes in France of a sale that would restore the lustre of its aviation industry.

Khurshid - on his first visit to France where he will meet President Francois Hollande on Friday - said progress was being made on the deal, worth around $15 billion, but did not say when it could be signed nor what it would entail.

"We know a good French wine takes time to mature and so do good contracts," he told reporters. "Contract details are being worked out. A decision has already been taken."

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius also said the talks "were advancing well."

Asked about the status of the deal, a Dassault spokesman said the company remained positive.

"Relations between India and Dassault are solid and long-standing, we're confident," the spokesman said.

In December, Dassault Chief Executive Charles Edelstenne said he was "relatively optimistic" the deal would soon wrap up despite tough negotiations.

Hollande will visit the United Arab Emirates next week, and is also courting Brazil, as Paris strives to ink a first sale of Rafales, billed as some of the most effective fighter jets in the world but also among the most expensive.

Former President Nicolas Sarkozy took personal charge of trying to market Rafales abroad in 2007 after the embarrassing failure of a bid to sell $2 billion of the jets to Morocco.

India already owns more than 50 French Mirage jets as it seeks to upgrade its largely Soviet-era air force and navy.

(Reporting by Alexandria Sage; Writing by Catherine Bremer and Alexandria Sage; Editing by Sophie Walker)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Infrastructure

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Big Infra Deal

Big Infra Deal

Piramal, Dutch APG tie up for $1 bln infra investment  Full Article 

L&T Slumps

L&T Slumps

L&T earnings raise 'multiple red flags' - Citi  Full Article 

Twitter Results

Twitter Results

Twitter assuages growth concerns for now as shares soar 35 percent  Full Article 

Auto Sector

Auto Sector

VW closes in on Toyota as global auto leader  Full Article 

E-Commerce

E-Commerce

Amazon says to invest $2 billion more in India   Full Article 

Fed Meeting

Fed Meeting

Fed seen trimming bond buys, could offer vague rate clues  Full Article 

Gaza Conflict

Gaza Conflict

Israel strikes house of Hamas Gaza leader, digs in for long fight.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage