Although the order will really be confirmed only in six to nine months, it is assumed that without any major snags, the French have bagged one of the worlds biggest -ever defence deals at 10.4 billion dollars.
Aggressively pushed by French President Nicolas Sarkozy, the deal has bought smiles all around - for the manufacturers anyway.
England and Germany, who were eyeing the deal for their joint creation - the Eurofighter, were not so thrilled. British PM Cameron called it 'disappointing' while the Germans merely hinted that such deals were not always final.
That kind of talk is not without some foundation. The Rafale has failed to find any serious purchasers for ten years now. There was some talk of Brazil and the UAE purchasing the jet but both talks fell through after hitting roadblocks.
Image: A French Rafale jet flies over the Paris Arch of Triumph (Arc de Triomphe) followed by two Mirage 2000-N on July 14, 2011 during the Bastille Day military parade.
Text: Sify News Desk