Dassault Aviation Chief Eric Trappier is still hopeful of selling extra Rafale fighter jets to India apart from the 36 aircraft deal negotiated by the French Government, Reuters reported Tuesday.
Speaking during the rollout of Dassault’s new business jet Falcon 5X, Eric Trappier said that he has not given up hope of selling more rafale fighters to India.
"We'll see about the second stage and how that evolves once the contract for 36 has been signed," Dassault Chief Executive Eric Trappier said at the rollout of a new business jet.
"I am not disappointed to drop from 126 to 36 planes, because the way I look at it, we are going up from 18 to 36," he told reporters, referring to the aircraft to be assembled at Dassault's own production line at Merignac, southwest France.
"We know that the Indian air force's needs far exceed 36 planes," he added.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced plans of buying 36 Rafales under a government-to-government contract with France scrapping the earlier MMRCA deal to buy 126 planes that included building 108 aircraft in India.
Indian Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar however has ruled out buying additional Rafales saying the deal would be economically unviable and looks at producing more Light Combat Aircraft Tejas Mark-II aircraft to be inducted in Indian Air Force.