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India Buys 36 Rafale Jets to Bolster Aging Air Force Fleet

  • Indian, French defense ministers sign agreement in Delhi
  • Deal comes amid tension with Pakistan after militant attack
A Rafale fighter jet.
Photographer: Miguel Medina/AFP via Getty Images
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi has finalized an order to buy dozens of warplanes from France in a long-delayed deal that will equip India’s air force with advanced fighter jets.

On Friday in New Delhi, the Indian and French defense ministers signed a contract to purchase 36 Rafale jets from Paris-based Dassault Aviation SA. The ceremony concluded India’s long search for a new multi-role combat aircraft and years of drawn-out negotiations. The deal is worth 7.8 billion euros ($8.7 billion), an Indian defense ministry official told reporters in New Delhi, asking not to be identified citing rules.