Bangalore: India on Friday made it clear that selection of French Rafale for the multi-billion dollar 126 fighter combat aircraft deal was final and said it does not
expect contract negotiations to go wrong.
"Decision is final as far as selection is concerned," said Union Minister of State for Defence, M M Pallam Raju, when asked about Britain`s statement that it would try to persuade India to look at Eurofighter Typhoon, made by a four-nation consortium, which lost the race, and New Delhi`s decision was only "preliminary and not final".
Raju said contract negotiations are on with Dassault Aviation, the makers of Rafale, adding, "after all negotiations are complete, can we say that its final".
Aked if that meant that the deal is open, Raju said: "No". "As of now, Rafale has been been finalised. That`s the final thing," he said and added, "hope nothing will go wrong (in contract negotiations)".
Last month, Britain sought to raise the pitch for Eurofighter Typhoon, positioning it as the "strongest offer" in the multi-billion contract for the supply of 126 Medium
Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) to India.
On January 31, India had announced that the Rafale fighter jet has emerged as the lowest bidder in the deal for procuring 126 combat aircraft for the Indian Air Force, edging out its European rival, EADS consortium`s Eurofighter Typhoon.