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02:12 PM, September 15, 2016
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Rafale Deal Close As French Working Team Arrives In India
Rafale fighter jet

Formal conclusion of the Euro 7.87 billion Indo-French Deal to Buy 36 Rafale fighters could be close at hand as a French working team has arrived in the Indian capital.

The "working team" from France is already in town with their own translators and are going through the contract, running into several thousand pages, with their Indian counterparts, French sources were quoted as saying by India TV Thursday. 

The deal is in the final stages of signing and work is now on the Inter-Governmental Agreement for the deal.

The sources said that once the IGA is firmed up, the document will go back to the Cabinet Committee on Security for a final clearance. 

They said that India has been able to save over Euro 590 million through tough price negotiations which began in January this year. 

Though the deal could have been firmed up earlier, issues like pricing and offsets took time as India wanted a better contract. 

Details are emerging on a previously undisclosed part of the deal, which will see India acquiring the Meteor air-to-air missile for the aircraft.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced that India would be acquiring 36 Rafale fighter jets from France in an off-the-shelf purchase when he visited France in April last year. Deliveries of the fighter are likely to begin in 2019.  Sharp differences between Indian and French price negotiators meant that neither side was able to achieve a breakthrough till now.

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