Defence Ministry Gives Nod For Procurement Of 26 Rafale-M Jets, Three Submarines For The Indian Navy

Ujjwal Shrotryia

Jul 13, 2023, 01:41 PM | Updated 03:33 PM IST

French Rafale-M on US aircraft carrier Dwight D Eisenhower with F/A-18 fighters in the background.
French Rafale-M on US aircraft carrier Dwight D Eisenhower with F/A-18 fighters in the background.

The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) has approved the acceptance of necessity for acquiring 26 Rafale-M fighter jets and three Scorpene submarines from France, for the Indian Navy.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is on a two-day visit (13-14 July) to Paris, where he will attend the Bastille Day parade as a guest of honour. It is expected that the deal could be signed during Prime Minister Modi's meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron.

The DAC headed by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh approved the procurement, which is expected to strengthen the offensive capabilities of Indian Navy's aviation arm and provide a relief to its dwindling submarine strength.

Only three days earlier on 10 July, the Defence Procurement Board (DPB) headed by the Defence secretary, had also cleared this deal.

The 26 Rafale-Ms will be operated from INS Vikrant, which was commissioned in the Navy in September 2022.

Of the 26 Rafale fighters, 22 will be single-seater jets and the rest four will double-seater Rafale-B jets.

They are estimated to cost €5.5 billion. However, the €5.5 billion price is not final, and further cost negotiations will take place after the likely announcement of the deal.

Moreover, under the deal a provision for establishing maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facility for various subsystems will also be incoporated in the contract, after due negotiations, the MoD said in a statement.

Apart from the 26 Rafale-M jets, acceptance was granted for procuring an additional three scorpene-class submarines, adding to the six already in-operation with the Indian Navy.

The submarines will provide a breather to Navy's already dwindling submarine fleet, as well as, helping restart the idle assembly line of the Mazagaon Docks Limited, following the completion of the construction of the sixth and the last scorpene submarine — INS Vagheer.

These three submarines are projected to cost approximately €4 billion, with an indigenous content close to 60 per cent. 

Staff Writer at Swarajya. Writes on Indian Military and Defence.

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