Published On: Thu, Dec 21st, 2023

France makes bid for 26 Rafale Marine jets

New Delhi: India’s quest for acquiring 26 Rafale Marine fighter jets for its naval aircraft carriers has moved a step closer, as the French government has submitted its formal response to India’s tender, sources in the Defence Ministry said.

Price and other terms of purchase will be negotiated with the French government

The response includes the terms-conditions and pricing of the deal, which is estimated to be around Rs 50,000 crore.

The French bid was delivered in New Delhi by a team of French government officials who deal with military sales to other countries. The Indian Navy needs the Rafale Marine jets to operate on its two aircraft carriers – INS Vikramaditya and INS Vikrant – which currently use the MiG-29s.

The Defence Acquisitions Council (DAC), headed by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, had earlier approved the procurement of 26 Rafale Marine jets along with related equipment, weapons, simulator, spares, documentation, crew training and logistic support from the French government through an Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA).

The Defence Ministry said that the price and other terms of purchase will be negotiated with the French government after considering all relevant factors, such as the comparative procurement price of similar aircraft by other countries.

The contract will also include the integration of Indian designed equipments and the establishment of a Maintenance, Repair and Operations (MRO) hub for various systems.

The Indian Defence Ministry had also issued a detailed letter of request (LoR) to the French Directorate General of Armaments for the proposed deal. The LoR specified that the deal would comprise 22 single-seat jets and four twin-seat trainers, along with weapons, simulator, spares, crew training and logistics support, sources said.

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