French Defence Chief On The Rafale

Was at a press event with visiting French Chief of Defence Staff, Admiral Édouard Guillaud, this evening. Apart from a lot of questions on Afghanistan and the Indian Ocean, the Admiral responded to a question about the MMRCA competition by saying, "I am not going to raise the curtain on any specific discussions. Of course it is preferable that India operates the same equipment as us. It would contribute to better interoperability. The Rafale is one of the finest fighter jets in the world right now. India has purchased Mirage-2000s in the past, which continue to be some of the best fighter-bombers in the world. We have always been on India's side strategically."

Admiral Guillaud will also be visiting the Mazagon Dock in Mumbai tomorrow, the yard where India is in the process of license building six Scorpene-class submarines. The long-pending contract to upgrade the Indian Air Force's Mirage fleet stands to be concluded and signed when President Sarkozy visits early December.

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