President Nicolas Sarkozy said on Tuesday that a deal for French firm Dassault to sell Rafale fighter jets to India would include significant transfers of technology.
Hailing the deal, Sarkozy also said the French state would back Dassault in final talks on the details of the agreement.
"The negotiation of the contract will begin very soon with the full support of French authorities. It will include major transfers of technology guaranteed by the French state," he said.
"France welcomes the Indian government's decision to chose a French plane and to enter into exclusive negotiations with Dassault," Sarkozy said.
"This announcement comes following a competition that was at a very high level, was fair and transparent and which opposed two European finalists."
He said the Rafale was chosen "thanks to the competitiveness of the global cost of the aircraft over its lifetime."
French and Indian officials said Tuesday that Dassault had beaten the Eurofighter consortium for the right to enter final exclusive talks with India on providing 126 Rafale fighter jets.
The estimated ê12 billion (nine billion euro) contract -- the first sale of the multi-role Rafales to a foreign buyer -- gave a much-needed boost to the Rafale programme.