NEW DELHI: More than 10 years after India decided to purchase another line of fighter jet for the Air Force, the Indian government today inked the deal for 36 Rafale fighter planes with France.

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and his French partner Jean Yves LeDrian inked the agreement in Delhi on Friday after years of tortuous negotiations between the two nations.

India will pay about Rs. 58,000 crore or 7.8 billion Euros for 36 off-the-rack Dassault Rafale twin-motor fighter. Around 15 per cent of this expense is being paid ahead of time.

India will also get spares and weaponry, including the Meteor missile, considered among the most advanced in the world.

Sources tracking the final negotiations had confirmed to NDTV that the IAF’s Rafales will come equipped with the Meteor designed to knock out enemy aircraft and cruise missiles significantly more than 100 km away.

The acquisition of this weapon is likely to be game changer in South Asia. Neither Pakistan nor China, India’s traditional military adversaries, possess a weapon of the same class.

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