French delegation in India for Rs.9.5 bn defence deal

July 16th, 2009 - 8:53 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, July 16 (IANS) A French delegation arrived here Thursday to hold discussions on the Rs.9,500-crore (Rs.9.5 billion) worth upgrade contract for the Mirage combat jets, a defence official said.
This will be the the second biggest defence deal that will be struck with France after the Rs 18,798-crore (Rs.187.98 billion) Scorpene submarine project.

The Indian Air Force (IAF) had decided to upgrade its fleet of 51 Mirage 2000 fighter aircraft two years ago. Around that time, the request for proposals was sent to French companies for the refit of the aircraft, which were inducted in the IAF in 1980s.

“The French delegation is here to discuss the Mirage refit. The discussions will be about the cost of upgrades, including improved avionics and weapons system,” the official said.

Negotiations are on with Dassault Aviation, the aircraft manufacturer, and Thales, weapons systems integrator, on issues like the cost of upgrades including improved avionics and weapons system.

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