Defence Minister of India Rajnath Singh has said that ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s arrival in France. His ministry has given initial approval to purchase 26 Rafale fighter jets and three Scorpion-class submarines for the Navy.
According to the British news agency Reuters. Narendra Modi began a two-day visit on Thursday to strengthen relations with his strategic partner France in the West.
The visit is expect to outline a defence pact and a new joint plan to ensure stability in the Indo-Pacific.
Under this deal, 26 Rafale aircraft, including four trainers and three submarines, will be purchased. To be developed by the Indian and French navies.
According to Reuters sources, the total value of this deal could be 9.75 billion dollars. But the Indian government has said that the price is yet to be determine.
Over the past few years, the Modi government has been equipping the army with modern weapons. While also vowing to increase local production to supply weapons to the army deployed along the borders of Pakistan and China.
This year, the government has increased the defence budget by 13 percent to INR 5.94 billion for the financial year 2024–23.
Last year, in the tests conducted for India’s indigenous aircraft carrier, the Rafale jets beat the US-made Super Hornet F-18.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh
Rajnath Singh defence minster of India wrote in a tweet that “the price and other terms of purchase will be discuss with the French government. Taking into account the prices of similar ships manufactured by other countries and all aspects.”
India has been dependent on French fighter jets for the past four decades. Before buying the Rafale in 2015, India bought Miraj aircraft in the 1980s. Two squadrons of which are still in service with its air force.
In 2005, India bought six Scorpion-class submarines from France for $2.29 billion.