The Indian Navy will purchase three Scorpene class conventional submarines and 26 Rafale fighter jets from France, according to plans approved by the Defence Ministry on Thursday.
Defence insiders told the sources that the recommendations were approved at the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) meeting, which was also attended by Chief of Defence Staff Gen. Anil Chauhan, the heads of the three services, and senior officials.
The deals, which have been accorded Acceptance of Necessity by DAC, are likely to be announced during Prime Minister Modi’s visit to France, sources said. PM Modi embarked on a two-day visit to France on Thursday morning. As per the proposals, the Indian Navy will get 22 single-seated Rafale Marine aircraft along with four trainer aircraft.
The Navy has been pressing for acquiring these fighter aircraft and submarines urgently as the force has been facing shortages in view of the security challenges around the country.
The aircraft carriers INS Vikramaditya and Vikrant have been operating the MiG-29s and need the Rafales for operations on both carriers.
Meanwhile, the three Scorpene class submarines would be acquired under the repeat clause by the Navy as part of Project 75 and would be built at the Mazagon Dockyards Limited in Mumbai. The deals are estimated to be worth over Rs 90,000 crore but the final cost would be clear only after the contract negotiations are completed which will be held after the deal is announced.
India is likely to seek price concessions in the deal and would be insisting on having more ‘Make-in-India’ content in the plan, sources said.
Industry sources said for the Rafale-Marine deal, India and France are expected to form a joint team for negotiations as was done for the previous Rafale deal for 36 fighter aircraft.
The deal would be negotiated and only after that it would be finalised and implemented by the two sides.