The $22 billion fighter aircraft deal between India and Dassault is close to being inked, Indian Air Force Chief (IAF) Arup Raha said Wednesday.
Raha said a deadline for finalization of the deal had not been set but added "it`s going to happen soon". He also said that the air force cannot afford any more hold ups of the 2012 deal to supply 126 French-made Rafale fighters.
"It will not be appropriate to make any changes in the process," he was quoted as saying by local media. "The current government has set the pace of work and things are moving fast enough on the fighter deal."
Dassault won the MMRCA deal to supply 126 fighters to India in 2012 after lodging a lower bid than Eurofighter for a tender with an estimated value of $12 billion.
Meanwhile, India has finally sealed a work share agreement with the French-firm Dassault Aviation for building 70 per cent of the Rafale fighters domestically, according to New Delhi Television.
India will acquire 18 of the 126 Rafale fighter jets it is buying from France in "fly away" condition, and the rest will be manufactured by the local firm Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).