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HomeIndiaIndian Govt plans to purchase 26 Rafale jets for Navy, deals likely...

Indian Govt plans to purchase 26 Rafale jets for Navy, deals likely during PM Modi’s France visit

Government is planning to purchase around 26 Rafale aircraft and three Scorpion class conventional submarines from France, and the deal is likely to be finalised during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s scheduled visit to Paris on July 13, sources said.

The aircraft and submarines are being purchased for the Indian Navy this time. Earlier, India had purchased 36 Rafale aircraft from France, but they were for Indian Air Force.

An official informed that the proposal has been received by the Defence Ministry and the deal is likely to be announced during Modi’s visit to France. The Indian Navy is likely to get 22 single-seater Rafale marine aircraft as well as four trainer jets.

“There is an urgent requirement for aircraft and submarines, as the Indian Navy has been facing shortages and needs to shore up its requirements keeping in mind security challenges, especially in the Indian Ocean region,” the sources added.

The aircraft carriers INS Vikramaditya and Vikrant have been operating the MiG-29s and need the Rafales for operations on both carriers.

The deals are estimated to be worth over Rs 90,000 crore but the final cost would be clear only after the contract negotiations are completed after the deal is announced.    

India is likely to seek some concession in prices of aircraft and submarines and may also insist on greater focus on ‘Make In India’ content in it, the official said.

The proposals have been discussed in the Defence Ministry at high-level meetings already and are likely to be placed before the Defence Acquisition Council in the next few days and expected to be accorded Acceptance of Necessity by the government before the announcement in France.

Last year, the naval version of Rafale fighter jets from France and American F/A-18 Super Hornet had demonstrated their operational capabilities. Modi will be reaching France on July 13, where he will be the guest of honour at the Bastille Day parade on July 14.

India is also planning to buy Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) for Tri-Services from the USA. The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), on June 15, 2023, accorded the Acceptance of Necessity (AoN) for acquisition of 31 MQ-9B (16 Sky Guardian and 15 Sea Guardian) High Altitude Long Endurance (HALE) Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) for Tri-Services from the USA through Foreign Military Sale (FMS) route. The AoN included the number of UAVs to be procured along with associated equipment.

According to the Defence Ministry, the AoN noted the estimated cost of $3,072 million provided by the US Government. However, price will be negotiated once policy approval of the US Government is received. The Defence Ministry will compare the acquisition cost with the best price offered by General Atomics (GA) to other countries. The procurement is in progress and would be completed as per the laid down procedure.

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