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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

India to clinch Multi-billion Euro sub deal with France: French daily

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

New Delhi, Sept 8, IRNA
India-France-Deal
Ahead of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's proposed visit to France on Sunday, a major French newspaper reported that the Indian government has cleared a multi-billion Euro deal to acquire six Scorpene submarines, reports PTI.

The newspaper, 'Daily Tribune' said the Cabinet Committee on Security has approved the deal to assemble the submarines manufactured by DCN International at Mazagaon docks in Mumbai.

The paper claimed the deal had been arrived at after a visit here by a top-level delegation of the DCN International who had agreed to forego cost-escalation in the project after the Letter Intent was agreed upon between the two countries in 2004.

However, Defence Ministry officials refused to confirm or deny the reports.

During his media briefing after Cabinet Committee on Security yesterday, Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee had said "whatever figured in the meeting, I have briefed you on it" as he gave details of purchase of three Boeing executive jets for VIP travel, building an all-weather alternative road to Leh and raising of four more territorial army battalions.

Manmohan Singh has already laid out the path for the French trip by announcing yesterday New Delhi's decision to buy 43 Airbus aircraft for the Indian Airlines. Although Britain is part of the European consortium that builds the Airbus, France will get the lion's share of the deal, reports 'The Indian Express'.

Last week, India's National Security Advisor, M.K. Narayanan was in Paris to reassure the French on India's enduring political commitment to expanding ties with Paris.

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