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David Cameron renews offer of Eurofighter jets for India

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LONDON (PTI): British Prime Minister David Cameron has renewed the offer to sell Eurofighter Typhoon fighter jets to India, terming it as a "better deal" than the Rafale made by France which is locked in a race with Britain to secure the multi-billion dollar contract for the Indian Air Force.

Cameron, who is in heavy campaign mode for the UK's May 7 general election, also stressed on Britain being a better partner for Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 'Make in India' campaign.

"The British offer of Eurofighter Typhoons to India is still on table. It will come along with technological and engineering assistance for India to develop its own world class fighter aircraft. It will be a better deal than Rafale," he told Midlands-based newspaper 'Asian Lite'.

The Eurofighter Typhoon is manufactured by a multinational consortium of the Airbus Group and has been in competition to secure an order of fighter jets for the much-needed upgrade of the Indian Air Force (IAF) to replace its outdated Russian MiGs with modern Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA).

However, during Modi's recent visit to France, India agreed to buy 36 Rafale fighters, as part of a USD 24 billion deal for 126 aircraft that is still being negotiated.

Cameron told the newspaper, "I am looking forward to meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi to discuss a heavy agenda. India is going to play a very big role in the success of British economy".

"Trade and investment relations have improved in the last five years and we need more political cooperation on climate change and other issues," he said.

The British premier who has been working hard to attract the estimated 1.5 million Indian diaspora vote, reiterated his view that the first Asian or black prime minister in the UK will be from the Conservative Party.

"We fielded Mr Rishi Sunak (son-in-law of Infosys co-founder Narayan Murthy) at Richmond, the former seat of William Hague and one of the safest seats for the Conservatives in North Yorkshire. The party will persuade experts in different fields to join to bring changes in the communities," he said.


India  UK  Eurofighter  Air Force  
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