A French delegation is likely to visit India again this month to discuss about the much-delayed multi-billion dollar contract on 126 Rafale fighter aircraft, as India is considering buying more Russian Su-30MKI warplanes in case the deal falls through.
Recalling his discussions with his French counterpart last month, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said talks are on over the deal. French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian had intended to send an "empowered person" for this.
Talking about the delays in sealing the contract, Defence Ministry officials were quoted as saying by DNA that there were problems and India could consider buying more Russian-made Sukhoi-30 planes if the proposed deal with France collapsed.
However, France is confident that the differences can be sorted out. India and France had agreed to fast-track the negotiations in December.
The issue came up for discussion during the delegation- level talks on December 3 between Parrikar and his French counterpart. India had in 2012 selected Rafale combat planes but the final negotiations are still continuing between the Defence Ministry and Dassault Aviation.
The deal with India is a big one for the Rafale Company as it will be the first mega export order for the aircraft.