Foreign Secretary William Hague talked up the technological superiority of the Eurofighter in a meeting with Indian officials

UK hopes to oust France from Indian fighter jet order

The UK still has hopes of ousting France's Rafale from a multi-billion-dollar combat jet order, with Foreign Secretary William Hague lobbying for the Eurofighter today.

Hague and Chancellor George Osborne held intergovernmental talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's new team, on a two-day visit to bolster trade and investment ties with Asia's third-largest economy.

Britain is hoping that a stalled deal for India to buy 126 Rafale jets from France's Dassault Aviation may yet collapse, perhaps opening the door to a new deal involving the Eurofighter Typhoon jet that is partly built in Britain.

"The UK foreign secretary did indicate the technological advantages of the product that they have available," Syed Akbaruddin, spokesman for India's Ministry of External Affairs, told reporters in response to a question.

Akbaruddin confirmed that defence issues figured during today's talks, as well as plans to build a 1,000km (600 mile) industrial corridor between India's financial capital Mumbai and high-tech hub Bangalore.

Osborne also said yesterday that MBDA – a missile systems group in which BAE Systems has a stake – had signed a £250m deal to supply defence equipment to the Indian Air Force. The other shareholders in MBDA are Airbus Group and Italy's Finmeccanica.

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