New Delhi: A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced to buy 36 Rafale fighter jets, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar today said that fighter planes will be inducted in Indian Air Force (IAF) in a span of two years.
"Rafale fighter deal is a great decision taken on the terms and conditions that are better. Rafale fighter jets to be inducted in IAF in a span of two years," Parrikar said.
"India has finally broken the ice over the deal which has been pending for the last 17 years," Parrikar added.
In a major fillip for India-France ties, India yesterday said that it will buy 36 Rafale fighter jets in fly-away condition as both sides also pushed for early conclusion of techno-commercial talks on the Jaitapur nuclear power plant and inked 17 agreements as Narendra Modi held talks with French President Francois Hollande.
The Rafale deal was the biggest takeaway in the talks between Modi and Hollande. India had shortlisted Rafale, made by Dassault Aviation, in a USD 20-billion deal for purchase of 126 fighter jets for the MMRCA project in 2012. However, the final deal has not been inked.
Hollande said their ties in civil nuclear energy, sustainable energy and defence and the desire to acquire 36 Rafale jets show the partnership has moved to new stage of cooperation.