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SOURCE: MAHESH SHETTI / FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG

Modi will be the first high-profile dignitary to visit France in the first week of May after the re-election of the French president Emmanuel Macron.” La Tribune ” recently reported that France is keen on pushing for the sale of Rafale M to the Navy and deal for additional Rafale for the air force. Talks are likely to be held with India for the purchase of additional Scorpène class submarines for its Navy.

Since it is a three-nation visit, it is unlikely anything major deal might be announced but they are chance that a deal for the lease of one in-flight refueling aircraft from the French air force might be concluded as it got principal approval from the MoD. Airbus A330 MRTT is a French Air Force-owned asset that doesn’t require to go through major rounds of approvals and since it will be wet-leased it can be absorbed into the Indian air force at a faster rate.

Kalvari-class of submarines that are yet to be integrated with a heavyweight torpedo and this visit might see a deal for an F21 heavyweight torpedo (HWT) made by the Naval group that will see seamless integration into the fleet. The naval group already has offered F21 HWT to India and has identified 30 companies in India for local production of the HWT.

Rumors around the defense circle have been that India might just announce that France’s Safran has been selected for the development of the next-generation fighter jet engine for the AMCA program but it is unlikely to happen since talks are still being held with both Safran and Rolls-Royce and deal if any might be only cleared sometime in 2023 once AMCA program itself gets CCS clearance.

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