India signed a deal to buy 36 Rafale fighter jets from France on Friday, the country's first major acquisition of combat planes in decades, as Laura Frykberg reports.
A change of direction for India. Acquiring its first major fleet of fighters jets in two decades. The 36 new planes - provided by French company Dassault Aviation - come at a cost of 7.8 billion euros. And are ready to go straight into service. The deal has been years in the making. For the last eighteen months it was delayed even further While both sides wrangled over cost. But India says it needs more military might. To protect itself from possible threats. According to the government, they're both sides of the border. Pakistan on the west, and China in the east. Dassault welcomed the contract signing. So too will President Francois Hollande as he squares up to next year's nationwide elections. This a welcome boost to his bid to build up defence exports.