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Indira Gandhi negotiated with France's Mitterrand for Mirage-2000 in 1981, used in Surgical Strike 2.0

By Our Representative
Prime Minister Indira Gandhi negotiated with French President Francois Mitterrand in 1981 for the purchase of 150 advanced Mirage-2000 warplanes, used by the Indian Air Force in the surgical strike 2.0 on February 26, 2019 to attack Jaish-e-Mohammad camp at Balakot, deep inside Pakistan. The negotiations were for a $2 billion deal, which were meant to give India “a major source of aircraft other than the Soviet Union and give France's Mirage production lines a new lease on life”, the "Washington Post" (WP) had reported in 1981.
The deal came in following Indira Gandhi’s strong criticism of Pakistan's “plans to buy U.S.-made F16s”, the paper said, adding, the negotiations were finalized by Mitterrand and Gandhi, who participated in the summit meeting of 22 world leaders in Cancun, Mexico in October 1981, dealing with issues of economic growth for developing countries.
The negotiations from the Indian side were led by Defense Secretary PK Kaul, who, said the report, bargained “hard, despite a reported decision by the Indian defense establishment that the Mirage-2000 fits Indian needs best.” It added, aside from financing -- a major problem -- the talks centred on “delivery schedules and the possibility of India building the plane itself.”
WP said, the India Gandhi government considered to buy Mirage-2000 because it felt that the French plane was “more advanced and thus a superior response” to the 40 F16s that Washington had agreed to supply to Pakistan.

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