Prime Minister David Cameron said on Wednesday that India's decision to choose France's Dassault Aviation over Eurofighter as preferred bidder for a $15 billion (9 billion pound) war plane contract was disappointing and he would urge India to reconsider.
Of course I will do everything I can, as I have already, to encourage the Indians to look at Typhoon (Eurofighter) because I think it is such a good aircraft, Cameron told parliament.
The decision is obviously disappointing but it is about who the Indians have assessed as making the lowest bid and therefore asked to enter into further negotiations. They have not yet awarded the contract, he added.
He said he did not expect any job losses in Britain as a result of the decision and said it doesn't rule out Typhoon for India.
We must go on making the case. This (Eurofighter) is a superb aircraft with far better capabilities than Rafale and we will try and encourage the Indians to take that view, he added.
Rafale, made by Dassault, emerged on Tuesday as preferred bidder in the contest to supply India with 126 warplanes.
While exclusive talks are not a guarantee of sale, they deal a probable knockout blow to Rafale's chief rival in India, the Eurofighter Typhoon, a fighter plane developed by a consortium of four European aviation companies --the German and Spanish branches of EADS, Britain's BAE Systems and Italy's Finmeccanica.
Cameron's spokesman said Britain would look very carefully at why India took the decision to make Dassault the preferred bidder. We will want to learn from that, he told reporters.
Talks between France and India over the fighter jet sale should be wrapped up within six to nine months, French government spokeswoman Valerie Pecresse said on Wednesday.
(Reporting by Adrian Croft; Editing by David Cowell)