India and France finalised Rafale jet deal worth $8.8 billion: Report. Picture: A French Air Force Rafale fighter jet takes off during the close air support (CAS) exercise Serpentex 2016 hosted by France in the Mediterranean island of Corsica, at Solenzara air base, March 16, 2016. Serpentex is an annual exercise that involves joint terminal attack controllers (JTACs) from 12 countries from March 7 to March 25, 2016.Reuters

India and France have reportedly agreed on a deal where India would purchase 36 Rafale fighter jets built by Dassault Aviation, NDTV reported, citing sources, on Friday. However, the news outlet detailed that the two countries could sign the agreement related to the purchase in the next three weeks.

The deal has been confirmed for $8.8 billion (around Rs. 59, 000 crore), approximately $3 billion lower than the $12 billion (around Rs. 80, 000 crore) Dassault Aviation of France was initially seeking for the 36 Rafale jets.

The first batch of the fighter aircraft is expected to be delivered to India in at least 18 months.

The decision to purchase the multi-role twin-engine aircraft got the green signal during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to France last year.

However, the deal could not be finalised for a long time as India was not satisfied with the deal.  

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar had last month said there was delay in finalising the deal as India was trying to negotiate for a "good deal," Indo-Asian News Service reported. "We are definitely very serious about the Rafale deal, though I agree the speed is not enough, it should soon come to conclusion," Parrikar had said at a press conference in Goa.

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