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France: India will buy 26 Rafale-three Scorpene submarines, deal may be announced during PM Modi's visit

Pankaj Prasad
Rafale fighter jet
Rafale fighter jet

India is planning to buy 26 Rafale fighter jets and three Scorpene class conventional submarines from France in a major defense deal.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is going to visit France from 13 to 14 July. PM Modi has been invited as the chief guest at the 'Bastille Day' parade ceremony on July 14, the national day of France. According to reports, during this visit PM Modi may announce a billion dollar deal to buy 26 Rafale maritime fighter jets (Rafale M) and three Scorpene class conventional submarines.

India is planning to buy 26 Rafale fighter jets and three Scorpene class conventional submarines from France in a major defense deal. Government sources said the proposal has been placed before the defense ministry by the defense forces and is likely to be announced during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to France this week.

As per the proposals, the Indian Navy will get 22 single-seated Rafale seaplanes along with four trainer aircraft. The Navy had been pressing for immediate acquisition of these fighter jets and submarines as they were facing a shortage in the wake of security challenges across the country. The Indian Navy was looking for a suitable fighter aircraft to replace the aging MiG-29s to be deployed on its aircraft carriers INS Vikramaditya and Vikrant.

Aircraft carriers INS Vikramaditya and Vikrant are operating MiG-29s and Rafale is required for operations on both carriers. Meanwhile, the three Scorpene-class submarines will be acquired by the Navy under the repeat clause as part of Project-75, after which they will be built at Mazagon Dockyards Limited in Mumbai.

These deals are estimated to be worth more than Rs 90,000 crore, but the final cost will be clear only after the completion of contract negotiations, which will be held after the deal announcement. Sources said India may seek price concessions in the deal and will push for having more 'Make-in-India' content in the plan.

Defense industry sources said that for the Rafale M deal, India and France are expected to form a joint team to negotiate the deal. As was done during the previous Rafale deal for 36 fighter jets. These proposals have already been discussed in high-level meetings in the Defense Ministry and are likely to be placed before the Defense Acquisition Council in the next few days and necessary approval is expected from the government before the announcement in France.