The French government has submitted its response to India’s Rs 50,000 crore tender to purchase 26 Rafale Marine fighter jets for the Indian Navy.
French authorities responsible for the sale of military hardware to foreign countries submitted the response to the Indian government and the officials will conduct a detailed study of the bid, senior defence sources told India Today.
India has initiated the USD 6 billion deal with France for the acquisition of 26 Rafale Marine aircraft, aiming to enhance the Indian Navy’s aircraft carrier capabilities. According to government sources, India recently submitted a Letter of Request to the French government, and negotiations for the deal are underway between both governments.
This development is considered a significant step in bolstering the Indian Navy’s fighter aircraft fleet, complementing the existing Russian-origin MiG-29K fighters. The Rafale Marine jets, procured from Dassault Aviation, will replace the currently deployed MiG-29s, marking India’s second major purchase of fighter jets from French aerospace in recent years.
The deal, expected to be finalised in the coming months, will strengthen the operational capabilities of India’s aircraft carriers, INS Vikrant and INS Vikramaditya.
The procurement includes 22 single-seated Rafale Marine aircraft and four twin-seater trainer versions.
This move comes at a time when the Indian Navy has been facing a shortage of aircraft and submarines, emphasising the urgency of meeting its requirements.
The Defence Acquisition Council has given its approval for this proposal, paving the way for a significant boost to India’s naval arsenal.