India is planning to buy 26 Rafale fighter jets and three Scorpene-class conventional submarines from France. Government sources told that the proposals have been placed before the Defense Ministry by the defence forces and it 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 there was a shortage of them in the wake of security challenges across the country.
The 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, where they will be built at the Mazagon Dockyards Limited in Mumbai.
These deals are estimated to be worth over Rs 90,000 crore but the final cost will be clear only after the completion of contract negotiations which will be held after the announcement of the deal.
Sources said India may seek price concessions in the deal and will push for having more ‘Make-in-India’ content in the plan.
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 for the previous Rafale deal for 36 fighter jets.
The 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 the requirement is expected to be approved by the government before the announcement in France.