NEW DELHI, July 8 Britain's foreign secretary
lobbied India on Tuesday to consider buying the Eurofighter,
indicating that London has not yet abandoned hope of ousting
France's Rafale from a multi-billion-dollar order of multi-role
"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.
Foreign Secretary William Hague and Finance Minister 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.
Akbaruddin confirmed that defence issues figured during
Tuesday'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.
London 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.
Osborne said in Mumbai on Monday that MBDA - a missile
systems group in which BAE Systems has a stake - had
signed a 250 million pound ($420 million) deal to supply defence
equipment to the Indian Air Force.
Other shareholders in MBDA are Airbus Group and
($1 = 0.5956 British Pounds)
(Reporting by Frank Jack Daniel; Writing by Douglas Busvine;
editing by Malini Menon)