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Rafale talks to take a month more

New Delhi: The talks for negotiating the cost of 36 Rafale fighter jets India is buying from France is going on at a "hectic" pace and are likely to be wrapped up in another one
PTI September 27, 2015 10:45 IST
PTI

New Delhi: The talks for negotiating the cost of 36 Rafale fighter jets India is buying from France is going on at a "hectic" pace and are likely to be wrapped up in another one month, top defence sources said.

"The talks have been very hectic. There are a lot of fine prints that both sides look into. The talks will most likely take one more month," defence sources told PTI.

"The talks are taking place since morning to evening. The French side is here thrice every month and every effort is to wrap up the talks fast," they said.

The Defence Acquisition Council had on September 1 given the go ahead for further negotiations for purchase of 36 jets that had got stalled due to differences over a variety of issues.

India's insistence on 50 per cent off-set clause, tweaking of weaponry technology and plans to set up two bases were among the sticking points that had cropped up during the talks that began after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the decision to acquire the fighter jets during his trip to France in April.

If things proceed smoothly, a government-to-government agreement between India and France could be signed soon, paving the way for the final contract for the purchase of the aircraft.

Modi's decision to buy the jets, citing operational requirements of the IAF, had given a boost to the modernisation plans of the air force as the original deal for 126 Rafale jets through a tendering process had got stuck for years.