French Defence Minister Jean Yves Le Drian arrived India on Thursday night for signing of the Euro 7.8 billion deal for 36 Rafale jets which is equipped with latest missiles and weapon system, giving IAF a cutting edge over arch rival Pakistan.

#WATCH Deal for 36 #Rafale fighter jets between India and France signed; deal is worth 7.8 billion euros.

— ANI (@ANI_news) September 23, 2016

The deal for the aircraft, the first fighter jet deal in 20 years, signed in the presence of Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and Drian, The chief executive officers (CEOs) of top French companies, including Dassault Aviation, the makers of Rafale were also present.

Also read:These Features Of Rafale Fighter Jets Will Terrify The Enemy

The deal comes with a saving of nearly 750 million Euros than the one struck during the previous UPA government, which was scrapped by the Narendra Modi government, besides a 50 per cent offset clause.

These combat aircraft, delivery of which will start in 36 months and will be completed in 66 months from the date the contract is inked, come equipped with state-of-the-art missiles like 'Meteor' and 'Scalp' that will give IAF a capability that had been sorely missing in its arsenal.

The features that make the Rafale a strategic weapon in the hands of IAF is its Beyond Visual Range (BVR) Meteor air-to-air missile with a range in excess of 150 km.

Its integration on the Rafale jets will mean IAF can hit targets inside both Pakistan and across the northern and eastern borders while staying within India's territorial boundary. Pakistan at present has only a BVR with 80 km range.