In a significant development, India has given the green light for the procurement of 26 Naval variant of Rafale jets from France, along with the acquisition of three French-designed Scorpene class submarines. The decision comes ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s scheduled talks with French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris.
The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), chaired by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, granted approval for these two major procurement projects. The estimated cost of the projects is expected to be in the range of Rs 80,000 to Rs 85,000 crore. These acquisitions will significantly enhance the overall military capabilities of the Indian Navy.
According to the Indian defense ministry, the purchase of the Rafale jets, including associated ancillary equipment, weapon systems, and spares, will be based on an inter-governmental agreement (IGA). The specifics of the purchase, such as the price and other terms, will be negotiated with the French government, taking into account all relevant aspects.
The decision to acquire the 26 Naval variant of Rafale jets is a testament to the success and effectiveness of the Rafale program. The Indian Air Force (IAF) has already inducted the Rafale aircraft into its fleet and has witnessed their exceptional performance. The Navy’s procurement of these advanced jets will provide a significant boost to its operational capabilities.
The Rafale is a state-of-the-art multi-role fighter jet with advanced avionics, powerful engines, and a wide range of weapons systems. It has proven its prowess in combat and has been extensively used by the French Air Force in various missions. The Naval variant of the Rafale is specifically designed to operate from aircraft carriers, making it a valuable asset for the Indian Navy.
In addition to the Rafale jets, India has also approved the acquisition of three Scorpene class submarines, which are designed by France’s Naval Group. The Scorpene submarines are known for their stealth capabilities, advanced weaponry, and long endurance. These submarines will significantly enhance the Navy’s underwater warfare capabilities and strengthen its fleet.
The decision to procure these advanced platforms reflects India’s commitment to modernize its armed forces and strengthen its defense capabilities. The Indian Navy, in particular, is focused on bolstering its maritime security and maintaining a credible deterrence in the region. The acquisition of these advanced naval assets will further reinforce India’s position as a capable maritime power in the Indo-Pacific region.
India and France share a long-standing defense cooperation, and this procurement is another milestone in their strategic partnership. The inter-governmental agreement for the Rafale jets and the acquisition of Scorpene submarines exemplify the strong defense ties between the two countries. It also highlights France’s role as a reliable defense partner for India.
The successful negotiation and execution of these procurement projects will not only strengthen the bilateral defense ties between India and France but also contribute to the broader objective of promoting stability and security in the Indo-Pacific region. The acquisition of advanced military equipment will enable the Indian Navy to maintain a strong presence at sea, safeguard its maritime interests, and contribute to regional peace and stability.
The approval for the purchase of 26 Naval variant of Rafale jets and three Scorpene class submarines marks a significant step towards enhancing India’s naval capabilities. The decision demonstrates the government’s commitment to modernizing the armed forces and providing them with the necessary tools to protect the nation’s interests. With these advanced platforms, the Indian Navy is poised to strengthen its defense posture and effectively respond to emerging security challenges in the maritime domain.