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France's Dassault wins contract to sell 126 Rafale jets to India

Reuters / Nikhil Monteiro

French firm Dassault has won a multi-billion dollar contract to provide 126 fighter jets to the Indian military.

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Dassault will sell its Rafale multi-role jet to India after beating the Eurofighter consortium to secure the long-awaited contract, which is estimated to be worth 9 billion euros.

Dassault Aviation shares soared more than 20 percent on the Paris Stock Exchange after the news broke.

The huge contract to supply war planes to fast-developing India has been fiercely fought over for four years.

New Delhi caused surprise in April when it cut out US bidders Boeing and Lockheed Martin and dropped Sweden's Saab AB and the Russian makers of the MiG 35 from the race.

India which is the biggest importer of military hardware among emerging nations issued the request for proposals in 2007 and trials of aircraft from the six companies competing for the deal began a year later.

The procurement of the fighter jets is a key part of India's military upgrade programme, aimed at securing its borders against rivals Pakistan and China.

 

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