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Business News/ News / World/  Modi in Paris: Defence Ministry greenlights Rafale purchase, France ready to offer naval SCALP missile
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Modi in Paris: Defence Ministry greenlights Rafale purchase, France ready to offer naval SCALP missile

India's defence ministry has given initial approval to purchase 26 Rafale fighter jets from Dassault Aviation and three Scorpene class submarines from Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders with France's Naval Group. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is currently on a visit to France.

Indian and French Air Force Rafales practice over the Parisian skies to achieve perfect synchronisation for the upcoming Bastille Day Parade. (ANI Photo) (Indian Air Force Twitter)Premium
Indian and French Air Force Rafales practice over the Parisian skies to achieve perfect synchronisation for the upcoming Bastille Day Parade. (ANI Photo) (Indian Air Force Twitter)

India's defence ministry has given initial approval to purchase 26 Rafale fighter jets made by Dassault Aviation and three Scorpene class submarines to be made by Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders with France's Naval Group. The development comes amid Prime Minister Narendra Modi's two day visit to the western country. France has also reportedly also agreed to arm the air independent propulsion equipped Scorpene submarines with a naval cruise missile.

According to an official statement from the Defence Ministry three proposals were greenlit on Thursday during a meeting led by Rajnath Singh. 

“The DAC granted Acceptance of Necessity for procurement of 26 Rafale Marine aircraft along with associated ancillary equipment, weapons, simulator, spares, documentation, crew training and logistic support for the Indian Navy from the French Government based on Inter-Governmental Agreement. The DAC also granted the AoN for procurement of three additional Scorpene submarines under Buy (Indian) category which will be constructed by Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited," the statement said.

According to the Defence Ministry, 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. Integration of Indian designed equipment and establishment of Maintenance, Repair and Operation Hub for various systems will also be incorporated into the contract documents after due negotiations.

Also Read: Bastille Day 2023:Tri-services of India showcase military excellence in France for practice sessions

Reuters further reported that the Defence Ministry also gives an initial nod for three Scorpene class submarines to be made by MDL with a French naval group.

India is one of the biggest buyers of French arms, with Modi announcing a landmark deal for 36 Rafale fighter jets during a trip to Paris in 2015 that was worth around 4.0 billion euros ($4.24 billion) at the time, AFP reported.

New Delhi is seeking to rapidly modernise its armed forces, with fears about China's assertiveness heightened by simmering disputes along its Himalayan frontier.

PM Modi will visit France to attend the Bastille Day Parade as the Guest of Honour at the invitation of French President Emmanuel Macron.

He will be the second Indian PM after Manmohan Singh in 2009 to be the Guest of Honour at Bastille Day Parade, the report said.

PM Modi's visit presents an opportunity for the two nations to move into the next phase in the India-France strategic partnership and set new ambitious goals for cultural, scientific, academic, economic cooperation and wide range of interests, Sunil Prasad, Secretary General of Brussels based Europe India Chamber of Commerce wrote in the Media India Group report. 

Also Read: 'India's stand transparent, consistent,' affirms PM Modi on Ukraine war

As reported by ANI, France is a nation of the Indo-Pacific and PM Modi's visit will help strengthen the collaboration between two nations in the Indo-Pacific where France has overseas territories and an exclusive economic zone.

The two nations share a vision of a free, open, and rules-based order, based on a commitment to international law, respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, freedom of navigation and a region free from coercion, tensions, and conflicts, according to Media India Group report.

France hosts the fourth-largest Indian community in Europe after the United Kingdom, Italy, and Germany, and is making efforts to attract students and professionals from India.

A bilateral agreement on migration and mobility cooperation is already in place between two nations which aims to facilitate circular migration on the basis of mobility and return of skills to the home country.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mausam Jha
A journalist covering International Relations, and Business.
Catch all the Business News, Market News, Breaking News Events and Latest News Updates on Live Mint. Check all the latest action on Budget 2024 here. Download The Mint News App to get Daily Market Updates.
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Published: 13 Jul 2023, 12:56 PM IST
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