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Dassault Aviation, the French aircraft manufacturer, is currently laser-focused on finalizing crucial orders for the Indian Navy: the 26 Rafale M fighter jets. These high-priority acquisitions will equip the newly commissioned INS Vikrant aircraft carrier and bolster India’s maritime defence capabilities.

In a competitive race for a place on the new Indian aircraft carrier INS Vikrant, the Rafale M emerged victorious. Chosen over the American F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet, the Rafale M’s performance and compatibility with INS Vikrant’s design proved decisive. These 26 aircraft will form the backbone of the Indian Navy’s carrier-borne air power, significantly enhancing its offensive and defensive capabilities.

Dassault Aviation, along with Team Rafale, is keen to finalize the deal before the end of January 2024. This deadline aligns with the credit authorization granted by the Indian Parliament, ensuring funding and expeditious delivery of the aircraft. Delaying beyond this crucial date could lead to complications and potentially jeopardize the project timeline.

While acknowledging the importance of other potential deals, Dassault Aviation emphasizes its pragmatic approach. Recognizing the strategic importance of the Rafale M contract for the Indian Navy and its long-term partnership with India, the company is prioritizing its swift completion.

The upcoming months will be crucial for finalizing the contract and ensuring timely delivery of the 26 Rafale M fighters. This deal, in addition to the 36 Rafale jets already in service with the Indian Air Force, strengthens the military cooperation between France and India, solidifying their strategic partnership.

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