Updated May 29th, 2024 at 17:18 IST

India and France Work Towards High-Stakes Negotiations for Rafale Marine Contract

High-level talks commence between India and France for a defense deal worth over ₹50,000 crore, involving the procurement of 26 Rafale Marine fighter jets.

Reported by: Yuvraj Tyagi
The deal holds strategic significance, reinforcing bilateral defense ties and enhancing India's maritime defense capabilities. | Image:Dassault Aviation
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New Delhi: Negotiations for a crucial defence deal between India and France commence as a high-level French team arrives in New Delhi on May 30. The deal, valued at over Rs 50,000 crore, involves the procurement of 26 Rafale Marine fighter jets for the Indian Navy's aircraft carriers.  

The French delegation, comprising officials from both the defence ministry and industry giants like Dassault Aviation and Thales, is set to engage with counterparts from the Indian Defence Ministry. These discussions mark a significant step in bolstering defence cooperation between the two nations.  

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Strategic Significance of the Rafale  

The Dassault Rafale, renowned for its versatility and advanced capabilities, is poised to become a cornerstone of India's naval aviation. Designed to perform a wide array of missions, from air superiority to ground support and nuclear deterrence, the Rafale Marine variant is tailored for operations from aircraft carriers.

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The Rafale Marine, akin to its land-based counterpart, boasts enhancements to facilitate operations from CATOBAR-equipped aircraft carriers. With a reinforced airframe and specialized landing gear, it is engineered to tackle the challenges of carrier-based operations.  

France's submission of its response to India's tender underscores the Rafale Marine's proven interoperability with carrier fleets. Notably, it is the sole non-US fighter aircraft cleared for operations from US carriers, a testament to its adaptability and performance. Having conducted a comprehensive evaluation of France's bid, India now embarks on negotiations aimed at finalizing the terms of the government-to-government contract.

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The discussions are expected to cover various aspects, including pricing and contractual details. The impending deal holds immense strategic significance for both India and France, serving to reinforce bilateral defence ties and augment India's naval capabilities. As negotiations unfold, stakeholders anticipate a fruitful outcome that will bolster India's defence preparedness in the maritime domain. 

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Published May 29th, 2024 at 16:28 IST