(Sputnik) — The Indian Air Force (IAF) cannot confirm media reports of its decision to purchase Russian Su-30MKIs over Rafale fighter jets from France, an IAF spokesperson said Thursday."There is no official confirmation about the reports appearing in the Indian media about the Su-30MKI instead of Rafale," Wing Commander Simranpal Singh Birdi told RIA Novosti.
Several local media outlets reported in recent days that India could pull out of a deal with France’s Dassault Aviation company on the acquisition of 126 Rafale multirole fighter aircraft and choose Russian-designed Su-30 aircraft instead. Reasons cited by Indian media outlets included France's reluctance to pass on technologies to the Indian side and an increase in the price of the jets.
Earlier this month, a source in the Indian Defense Ministry told Sputnik that the country had not made a decision regarding the purchase of the Rafales. According to the source, Su-30s are seen as an alternative if the deal with France falls through.