Rajnath Singh-led DAC approves purchase of 26 Rafale-M fighters, 3 Scorpene submarines from France
The Defence Acquisition Council, which is the highest decision-making body of the Defence Ministry, has approved the purchase of 26 Rafale-M fighter aircraft, including four trainers, and three Scorpene submarines from France.
The Defence Acquisition Council, which is the highest decision-making body of the Defence Ministry, has approved the purchase of 26 Rafale-M fighter aircraft, including four trainers, and three Scorpene submarines from France. The DAC is headed by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh. The announcement came even as Prime Minister Narendra Modi is en route to France to be a part of the Bastille Day parade.
The Defence Procurement Board (DPB) of the Ministry of Defence had earlier cleared the proposals. The two countries are expected to make the announcement of the big-ticket defence projects during Prime Minister Modi's visit to France.
It has also been speculated that some of the defence procurement projects may be announced this week. It has also been reported that the two nations are also inching closer to inking a deal under which French defence major Safran and an Indian entity will jointly develop an aircraft engine in India.
India already uses Rafale fighter aircraft, 36 of which were procured from France for the Indian Air Force. This marked India's first major fighter jet procurement in 23 years since the import of Sukhoi jets from Russia. This time, the Indian Navy is looking to procure 26 fighter jets specifically modified for use on its aircraft carriers.
As for the Scorpene submarines, six of these boats have already been made in India under Project 75. There is now consideration for an additional order of three Scorpene submarines in collaboration with French partner Mazagon Dock Limited (MDL).
The Ministry of Defence is currently engaged in discussions with Safran, a prominent French defence company, regarding a collaborative effort to develop a fighter jet engine in India. The aim is to provide power to India's forthcoming generation of aircraft, including the advanced and futuristic Advance Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA).