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The Indian Navy is inching closer to acquiring a variant of the renowned Rafale fighter jet specifically designed for aircraft carrier operations – the Rafale M. This single-seat variant is expected to cost around Euro 91.07 million per unit, comparable to the previously acquired Rafale jets for the Indian Air Force.

While sharing the core capabilities of the Rafale A, the Rafale M boasts crucial modifications for carrier operations. A key difference lies in the extended and reinforced nose section, designed to withstand the powerful launch mechanisms of aircraft carriers. Additionally, the undercarriage is strengthened to handle the demanding take-off and landing cycles on a moving platform at sea.

The Indian Navy’s planned acquisition also includes four Rafale Bs, the twin-seater variant of the aircraft. These trainers, priced at approximately Euro 94 million each, will fulfil a vital role in pilot training, mirroring the IAF’s utilization of the Rafale B.

with this India will also hold the distinction of being the first export customer for the Rafale M. These jets will be instrumental in bolstering the Indian Navy’s carrier-borne airpower, enhancing their capabilities for missions ranging from maritime security to power projection.

The acquisition of the Rafale M marks a significant step forward for the Indian Navy. These advanced fighters, coupled with the upcoming deployment of India’s Indigenous aircraft carrier INS Vikrant, will solidify India’s position as a major maritime power.

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