NEW DELHI - Negotiations for India to buy 36 French Rafale fighter jets are nearing the finish line, the Indian defense ministry said, with sources saying the price will be set at around $9 billion.
Both sides had hoped to wrap up the strategic order during President Francois Hollande's visit for India's Republic Day celebration in January, but hard bargaining on price stalled a final result.
A ministry source said the price agreed for the Dassault Aviation jets was around $9 billion, although a spokesman declined to confirm this on the record.
"Negotiations are in the final stage. Nothing has been concluded so far," the spokesman said late on Friday.
Dassault also declined comment. The price named is significantly below that originally sought by the French plane maker. There have been several leaks to the Indian press over recent months that a deal had been reached that proved to be premature.