May 21, 2017 / 12:49 PM / 2 months ago

Dassault hopes to sell more Rafales to India

2 Min Read

A Dassault Rafale fighter aircraft flies during the inauguration of Aero India show at the Yelahanka Air Force Station in Bengaluru, India, February 14, 2017.Abhishek N. Chinnappa/Files

GENEVA (Reuters) - French planemaker Dassault Aviation SA hopes to start talks with India by the end of the year for additional sales of its Rafale fighter jet, before full negotiations in 2018, Chief Executive Eric Trappier said in Geneva on Sunday.

He also said the company was awaiting more information on Canada's search for fighter planes.

Canada said on Thursday it was reviewing plans to buy military equipment from Boeing Co after the U.S. planemaker launched a trade complaint alleging that Canada's Bombardier Inc had dumped jets into the U.S. market.

In November, Canada said it wanted to buy 18 Boeing Super Hornets as a stopgap measure while it prepared a competition to replace its aging fleet of fighter jets.

According to industry sources, the Canadian government has also held talks with Eurofighter, Lockheed Martin and Saab.

"We are in a phase where I do not know (...) if they are still in a tender in which we are a part or if they are negotiating on a one-to-one basis," Trappier told Reuters on the sidelines of the Ebace business aviation fair.

In India, where Dassault Aviation signed a long-awaited contract for 36 Rafale fighter jets in September 2016, Trappier said it was working on an additional order for the air force as well as a tender for 57 planes for the navy.

Boeing is also competing the Indian naval deal.

"There is no negotiation, we are not there yet: we are waiting for a one-to-one discussion," Trappier said, hoping to start talks this year before full-fledged negotiations in 2018.

Reporting by Cyril Altmeyer; Writing by Sybille de La Hamaide; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle and Mark Potter

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