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Dassault’s Rafale Marine, which shares a significant proportion of its components with the Rafale fighter jets acquired by the Indian Air Force, is expected to be offered to India at a more appealing price point. This development comes as India prepares to clear the deal and announce the winner of the Multi-Role Carrier Borne Fighter (MRCBF) program, which aims to equip the INS Vikrant with 26 fighter jets.

The potential agreement is expected to be discussed during the Indian Prime Minister’s visit to France on July 13-14, where he will be the Guest of Honor at the Bastille Day Parade. Dassault’s Rafale-M, having outperformed its rival Boeing’s F/A-18 Super Hornet, has been deemed more suitable for meeting the operational requirements and criteria of the Indian Navy.

One significant advantage of opting for the Rafale-M is the potential for common training of pilots from both the Indian Air Force and the Indian Navy. This shared training program can offer operational synergies and cost-effective training solutions for both services.

Reports suggest that the Ministry of Defense (MoD) has drafted a comprehensive contract that includes Performance-Based Logistics, ensuring that the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) will be responsible for overall aircraft maintenance and spare parts delivery.

Additionally, Dassault Aviation will establish a repair facility for the Rafale-M aircraft onboard the INS Vikrant, in addition to one at Goa’s INS Hansa naval air base. The OEM will also provide training for naval aviation ground personnel, in addition to pilots.

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