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Cameron in Eurofighter sales pitch

David Cameron will raise the possibility of India buying partly British-made Eurofighter Typhoon jets when he meets the country's prime minister and president on Tuesday, he said.

Although he stressed that negotiations were a matter for the UK-German-Spanish-Italian Eurofighter - which includes BAE Systems - Mr Cameron said he would see whether the Indian authorities were ready to "reconsider" their choice of a French rival.

The consortium's hopes seemed to have been dashed when French contractor Dassault Aviation was chosen last year as the preferred bidder for the 6.4 billion contract to supply 126 jet fighters to the Indian air force.

But hopes were revived when French president Francois Hollande returned from a visit to New Delhi without a signature on a final contract.

Speaking in Mumbai, Mr Cameron said: "I think Typhoon is a superior aircraft. It has the advantage of all the partner nations behind it. It is an aircraft that, of course, for those countries that want to buy it, we can make some aeroplanes available within months because there are so many countries already using it.

"We also have very interesting offers to make in terms of industrial participation and technology transfer and the company has said it would look again at price.

"But that is for them to discuss with the Indian authorities.

"I will obviously make clear that Typhoon is still available. This deal is clearly not the biggest item on this visit, but it is obviously a point we will make to the Indian authorities should they want to reconsider where they are."

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