New Delhi: The Union Cabinet on Wednesday cleared the purchase of 36 Rafale fighter jets.
Under the deal, India will get 36 Rafale jets in fly-away condition. India's fighter aircraft fleet, comprising Russian, British and French planes, is down to 33 squadrons as against the air force's requirement of 45 to counter a "two-front collusive threat" from Pakistan and China.
The two countries will sign the final deal on Friday, the source, who did not wish to be named as he is not authorised to speak to the media, said.
French Defence Minister Jean Yves Le Drian is set to arrive here on September 22 along with CEOs of Dassault Aviation, Thales and MBDA to seal the 7.87 billion Euros deal for 36 Rafale fighter jets.
India has been able to save over Euro 590 million through tough price negotiations which began in January this year.
The delivery for the fighter aircraft is expected to begin in 2019, with an annual inflation capped at 3.5 per cent.
The weapon systems, part of the deal, will also include the new-age beyond visual range missile 'Meteor', and Israeli helmet-mounted display.