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The Indian Navy is nearing a key step in acquiring 26 Rafale-Marine fighter jets from France’s Dassault Aviation. Following the submission of a formal bid by Dassault, the Navy is finalizing its report on the proposal.

The government-to-government deal, valued at approximately Rs. 50,000 crore (US$6 billion), involves the direct purchase of these jets, bypassing a lengthy tender process. However, the finalization hinges on crucial steps before the contract is inked.

Following the Navy’s report, negotiations on cost and other terms will take place between the Indian and French governments. Here, factors like the purchase price of similar aircraft by other countries will be considered, ensuring India gets a fair deal. Ultimately, the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) will need to grant final approval before the contract is signed.

The acquisition of these Rafale-Marine jets aims to significantly enhance the operational capabilities of India’s aircraft carriers, INS Vikrant and INS Vikramaditya. These jets are specifically designed for maritime operations, offering features like folding wings and reinforced landing gear for carrier suitability.

With the Navy’s report nearing completion, negotiations with France are expected to commence soon. The finalization of this deal will be a significant development for the Indian Navy, bolstering its ability to project power and safeguard maritime interests.