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French Defense Minister Travels to India in Wake of Rafale Jet Reports

French Defense Minister Travels to India in Wake of Rafale Jet Reports

PARIS — French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian trafficked to India Thursday for a scheduled assembly on Sept. 23, as requested by President François Hollande, pronounced a Ministry of Defence mouthpiece Valérie Lecasble.

The minister’s transport devise has lifted hopes France will pointer Friday an agreement with India for a sale of 36 Dassault Aviation Rafale warrior jets in a understanding widely reported to be value €7.87 billion ($8.8 billion).

Lecasble declined to criticism on either Le Drian would be signing a understanding and a value of a approaching acquisition, instead indicating to a matter from a French president’s office.

However, an central with a Indian Ministry of Defence, vocalization on condition of anonymity, pronounced Le Drian will accommodate his Indian counterpart, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, on Sept. 23 to pointer an intergovernmental agreement for a Rafale jets. He would not yield serve details.

Le Drian’s Sept. 23 assembly in India had been concluded by Hollande and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi when a dual domestic leaders met on a sidelines of a Sept. 4 G20 summit, a president’s Elysée bureau pronounced in a Sept. 21 statement.
Le Drian’s outing to India would be on a bulletin during a president’s weekly assembly with a invulnerability minister.

A sale to India would be a third trade understanding for a Rafale and a largest given France sole 24 of a twin-engined warrior to both Egypt and Qatar, pronounced Etienne Daum, a consultant during a consider tank Compagnie Européenne d’Intelligence Stratégique.

An sequence for a Indian Air Force “may open a doorway for a Rafale for a Navy,” that is looking for a warrior for a aircraft carrier, he said. There is regard over China’s ambitions in a Indian Ocean.

On Lockheed Martin’s offer of a F-16 to boost a Indian Air Force, there would be a complicated upkeep check if there were 3 forms of aircraft — Sukhoi 30, Rafale and a US fighter — he said. Perhaps India lacks genuine seductiveness in a F-16 though keeps a talks open to put vigour on Dassault, and also keeps Lockheed Martin warning by holding discussions with Dassault, he said.

The Indian use also flies a Dassault Mirage 2000, that is undergoing an upgrade. 
Missile-maker MBDA, M88 engine-builder Safran, and wiring dilettante Thales would advantage from an Indian order.

If a Indian understanding goes through, that would means Dassault’s preference to boost annual outlay to 22 Rafales from 11 units. France needs a trade deals to cut a budgetary vigour incurred by gripping a warrior prolongation line open. The French Air Force, that has tighten operational ties with a Indian Air Force, will see a delayed down of smoothness to a warrior fleet.

Vivek Raghuvanshi contributed to this report.

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