France pleased by transparent Rafale choice: Sarkozy

French President Nicholas Sarkozy on Tuesday said France was pleased by India's choice of Rafale for 126 fighter jets through a transparent selection process and promised important technology transfer as a part of the deal.

“France is pleased with the India's decision to select the French aircraft to enter into exclusive negotiations with Dassault. This announcement comes at the end of a very high-level, fair and transparent competition involving two European finalists,” the French embassy said in a statement here.

The Rafale had been selected thanks to the aircraft’s competitive life-cycle costs, after the April 2011 pre-selection on the basis of its top-level operational performance, the embassy statement said, adding that the negotiation of contract would begin very soon and had the full support of the French authorities.

“It will include important technology transfers guaranteed by the French government. The realisation of the Rafale project will illustrate the depth and scale of the strategic partnership between France and India,” it said.

Besides the whopping MMRCA deal, France also bagged two major strategic projects from India, which includes $2.4 billion upgradation of India’s Mirage-2000 fighters and the first two units of the six 1650 MW nuclear power plants for Jaitapur.

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