India’s final negotiations to purchase 36 Rafale fighter jets from France are to start this month after leaders of the two nations announced the deal last month.
“The government-to-government committee will be set up which will begin negotiations on the Rafale deal,” Parrikar told the Press Trust of India news agency.
“The negotiations will start any time in May and we have to conclude them as early as possible,” he said in the state of Goa.
New Delhi had ordered 36 “ready to fly” planes following talks with President Francois Hollande. The deal is estimated to be worth five billion euros ($5.5 billion).
In recent years, India has launched an aggressive and vast defense modernization programme worth some $100 billion with aim to keep up with rival neighbors Pakistan and China.
Modi government is expected to introduce a new policy on defense procurement to cut extra layers of bureaucracy, providing greater transparency and speeding up decisions.