No Breakthrough Yet on Rafale Deal - Indian Foreign Ministry
17:26 08.04.2015(updated 18:21 08.04.2015)
India remains undecided on whether to go ahead with its planned purchase of France's Rafale fighter jets, Foreign Secretary Subrahmanyam Jaishankar told reporters on Wednesday.
"As far as I understand it, discussions between the French company, our defense ministry and HAL Company continue… The sides are discussing the technical aspects of the matter. We are differentiating between state visits and a detailed discussion of defense contracts," the diplomat said.
India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi is heading to France Thursday on a three-day visit to meet with President Francois Hollande to discuss a range of infrastructure and defense cooperation issues with French company executives and visit an Airbus plant in Toulouse.
New Delhi earlier urged France to revise its final asking price for the 126 Rafale fighter jets for the Indian Air Force.
The multi-billion dollar contract continues to be stuck in the doldrums with several local media outlets reporting that India could pull out of a deal with France's Dassault Aviation for the purchase of the 126 Rafale multirole fighter aircraft and go instead for Russian-designed Su-30s, which are reliable and cheaper.
Reasons cited by Indian media outlets included France's reluctance to pass on technologies to the Indian side and an increase in the price of the jets, which recently jumped to $20 billion from the initial $12 billion.
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