France submits response to India for 26 Rafale Marine deal

Spread the love

France submits response to India for 26 Rafale Marine deal
New Delhi: The French government has submitted a formal response to India’s tender for buying 26 Rafale Marine jets which includes terms-conditions and pricing of the deal for the Indian Navy’s aircraft carriers — INS Vikrant and INS Vikramaditya, sources in the Defence Ministry said.

Defence sources said that this deal could be estimated at around Rs 50,000 crore.

Sources added that in a response to India’s letter of acceptance (LoA), France has now submitted its bid in New Delhi.

A team of French government officials dealing with military sales to other countries has come from Paris to bid on the Indian tender.

Earlier, the Defence Acquisitions Council (DAC), chaired by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, had approved proposals to procure 26 Rafale-Marine fighter jets for the Indian Navy.

The Ministry of Defence said that DAC granted Acceptance of Necessity (AoN) for procurement of 26 Rafale-Marine fighter jets along with associated ancillary equipment, weapons, simulator, spares, documentation, crew training and logistic support for the Indian Navy from the French government through an Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA).

The Ministry added that the price and other terms of purchase will be negotiated with the French government after taking into account all relevant aspects, including comparative procurement price of similar aircraft by other countries.

The integration of Indian designed equipments and establishment of Maintenance, Repair and Operations (MRO) hub for various systems will be incorporated into the contract documents in due negotiations.

A detailed letter of request (LoR) had also been issued by the Indian Defence Ministry to the French Directorate General of Armaments for the proposed deal. It included 22 single-seat jets and four twin-seat trainers, along with weapons, simulator, spares, crew training and logistics support, sources said.

According to the defence experts, France has now responded with its offer, pricing and other detail.

Once the contract is inked after the cost negotiations and the Cabinet Committee on Security’s final nod, deliveries will begin in three years.

According to defence experts, there is an urgent requirement for aircraft and submarines, as the Indian Navy has been facing shortages and needs to shore up its requirements keeping in mind security challenges, especially in the Indian Ocean region.

Aircraft carriers — INS Vikramaditya and INS Vikrant — have been operating the MiG-29s and need the Rafales for operations on both carriers.

The deals are estimated to be worth thousands of crore but the final cost will only be clear only after the contract negotiations are completed, a source added.

India is likely to seek some concession in the price and may also insist on greater focus on a ‘Make In India’ content in it, an official said.

Spread the love