India will finalise a $15 billion deal to buy 126 Rafale fighter jets from France by March, 2014. Rafale was preferred because of lower costs, and the Indian air force’s familiarity with French warplanes such as the Mirage. The Indian Air Force, which was extensively briefed by the French air force in the autumn, was particularly impressed by its operational performance during the Libyan bombing campaign and in Afghanistan. Under the deal, Dassault is expected to send 18 ready-made jets and would manufacture the rest in India.
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