Panaji, April 11: Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Saturday welcomed Prime Minister Narendra Modi's "extremely positive decision" to purchase 36 Rafale fighter jets during his trip to France, saying a deal of such magnitude had not been signed for the last 17 years.
He was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a book release function.
"I welcome Modi's decision. It was necessary and was the most urgent requirement," Parrikar said, as Modi and French President Francois Hollande signed a deal at their summit in Paris for purchasing the 36 Rafale jets. [Modi visit: India, France ink 17 agreements, India to buy 36 Rafale jets]
He also said that the 'Make in India' campaign was a long-term solution and the need to purchase the 36 fighter jets was immediate.
Parrikar said that a significant number of Indian Air Force planes were facing maintenance issues and the purchase of the fighters would boost the morale of the force.
The defence minister said that the weightage of Modi's "word" in the international community had increased thanks to diplomatic initiatives taken by the prime minister.
"I will give him 10 out of 10 marks for international diplomacy," Parrikar said.