Is India In Talks With France For 36 More Rafale Fighters?A Rafale fighter during Areo India 2017 (MANJUNATH KIRAN/AFP/Getty Images)

India could be in talks with France for the procurement 36 more Rafale fighter jets, two squadrons of which were contracted for in 2016, Livefist has reported.

According to the portal, French defence minister Florence Parly had written to Indian defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman on 26 February saying any indication from India on its intent to buy more Rafale fighters during President Emmanual Macron’s visit would be ‘particularly appreciated’ by her government. In her letter, Parly also talks about a letter written by President Macron to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 25 October last year seeking discussions between the two countries on France’s proposal to provide 36 more Rafales for the Indian Air Force.

However, Prime Minister Modi is unlikely to announce talks for procurement of the next batch of Rafale fighters amid a barrage of allegations of corruptions from the Congress and other opposition parties.

Although the deal signed by India and France for the fighters in 2016 did not have a options clause for more fighters, Dassault officials have reportedly clarified that it was conceivable for government to government discussions could result in additional orders at currently negotiated rates.

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