February 12, 2012 / 2:47 PM / 8 years ago

Dassault Aviation, Reliance in defence pact

A Dassault Rafale fighter takes part in a flying display during the 49th Paris Air Show at the Le Bourget airport near Paris June 26, 2011. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes/Files

MUMBAI (Reuters) - Reliance Industries and France’s Dassault Aviation have signed a pact for partnering in the defence and homeland security sector in Asia’s third-largest economy, a spokesman for the Indian conglomerate said on Sunday.

The accord comes less than two weeks after Dassault’s Rafale warplanes emerged as the preferred bidder in a $15 billion contest to supply India with 126 fighter jets.

India is the world’s largest arms importer with plans to spend $100 billion on weapons over the next decade.

Reliance Industries, India’s most-valuable company, did not give any further detail on the tie-up with the French company.

Controlled by Mukesh Ambani, the world’s ninth-richest man, Reliance Industries has been looking to diversify as growth in its core oil and gas business slows. The company has expanded into newer sector such as retail and telecom in recent years.

Reporting by Prashant Mehra; Editing by Erica Billingham

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