India Agrees in Principle to Purchase 26 Rafales and 3 French Submarines

India agrees in principle to purchase 26 Rafales and 3 French submarines

AIR AND SEA: The Indian Defense Acquisition Board has approved these purchase proposals but prices have not yet been negotiated

The invitation of the Indian Prime Minister to Paris, guest of honour of the National Day of July 14th seems to pay. India gave its agreement in principle on Thursday for the purchase from France of 26 Rafale fighter planes, in the Navy version for aircraft carriers, and three Scorpene submarines. India’s Defense Acquisition Board has approved the purchase proposals, India’s defence ministry said in a statement, adding that the price and other terms are yet to be negotiated with the French government.

Discussions regarding these long-awaited agreements will take into account “all important aspects, including the purchase price of similar aircraft from other countries,” the statement said. Dassault Aviation’s Rafale Navy version is intended for the first Indian-made aircraft carrier, baptized INS Vikrant and commissioned last year.

Military Equipment Upgrade

India had already purchased six Scorpene submarines, designed by Naval Group. The three additional submarines will be manufactured “with a greater number of Indian contents” by Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders, near Bombay, “creating significant employment opportunities” locally, the statement continued.

New Delhi, which has reinforced its military arsenal to upgrade mostly post-Soviet equipment, is one of the biggest customers of the French defence industry. India had already ordered 36 Rafale jets during a visit by Narendra Modi to Paris in 2015.

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