It is quite common in large and complex deals to sign a " preliminary sales agreement " which sets out the main terms of the transaction and lists all the work that remains to be done, followed a few months later by the formal closing (with payment of the deposit and start of production) when all the pre-conditions are met.Rather than a contract, that's just an IGA.
In the business world, the preliminary sales agreement is a very detailed contract during which the lawyers of each party sign tons of documents (to justify that such and such a thing has been done, to prove the good reception of certain documents etc...).
Here, they had to define at least the price, the quantities, the delivery deadlines, the amount of the offsets to be contracted, the conditions of technology transfer, the terms of maintenance, the penalties in case of breach of the agreement and the "secret" clauses of military collaboration with France (e.g.: sharing or not of the data bank for Spectra) On the buyer's side, they probably still have to finalize their financing (signing of loan contracts) and negotiate certain other parts of the deal. On the seller's side, they probably have to finalize their agreements with local manufacturers, create local companies if necessary, do the paperwork...
As long as the money hasn't changed hands yet, it can still go off the rails but it's still a big step that has just been taken!