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India Approves Proposals for Procurement of 26 Rafale Aircrafts and 3 Scorpene Submarines

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India Approves Proposals for Procurement of 26 Rafale Aircrafts and 3 Scorpene Submarines

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Rafale-M carrier-borne fighter on the flight deck of Charles de Gaulle
Rafale-M carrier-borne fighter on the flight deck of Charles de Gaulle

The Indian Defense Acquisition Council (DAC), headed by Defense Minister Rajnath Singh, convened on July 13, 2023, and endorsed three proposals. The DAC granted Acceptance of Necessity (AoN) for the acquisition of 26 Rafale Marine aircraft, including associated ancillary equipment, weapons, simulators, spares, documentation, crew training, and logistic support for the Indian Navy. This procurement will be carried out through an Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) with the French Government. The final price and terms of the purchase will be determined through negotiations, considering factors such as the comparative procurement price of similar aircraft by other nations. The contract will also include the integration of Indian-designed equipment and the establishment of a Maintenance, Repair & Operations (MRO) Hub, which will be finalized during negotiations.

Furthermore, the DAC granted AoN for the acquisition of three additional Scorpene submarines under the Buy (Indian) category. These submarines will be constructed by Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL). Procuring more submarines with a higher indigenous content not only ensures the required force level and operational readiness of the Indian Navy but also generates significant employment opportunities within the country. This decision will also contribute to enhancing MDL’s capabilities and expertise in submarine construction. Additionally, the DAC approved the proposal to establish guidelines for achieving the desired indigenous content in all capital acquisition cases. This initiative aims to promote self-reliance (Aatmanirbharta) by encouraging critical manufacturing technologies and domestic manufacturing for the entire life cycle of defense platforms and equipment.

INS Kalvari first of six Scorpene class submarines constructed at Mazagon Dock under Project 75 (Kalvari Class) was commissioned into Indian Navy.
INS Kalvari first of six Scorpene class submarines constructed at Mazagon Dock under Project 75 (Kalvari Class) was commissioned into Indian Navy. (Photo by Indian Navy)

The Dassault Rafale is a French twin-engine, canard delta wing, multirole fighter aircraft designed and built by Dassault Aviation. interdiction, aerial reconnaissance, ground support, in-depth strike, anti-ship strike and nuclear deterrence missions. The Rafale was developed as a modern jet fighter with a very high level of agility; Dassault chose to combine a delta wing with active close-coupled canard to maximize manoeuvrability. The Rafale M features a greatly reinforced undercarriage to cope with the additional stresses of naval landings, an arrestor hook, and “jump strut” nosewheel, which only extends during short takeoffs, including catapult launches. It also features a built-in ladder, carrier-based microwave landing system, and the new fin-tip Telemir system for syncing the inertial navigation system to external equipment.

The Scorpène-class submarines are a class of diesel-electric attack submarines jointly developed by the French Naval Group (formerly the DCNS) and the Spanish company Navantia. It features diesel propulsion and an additional air-independent propulsion (AIP). In 2005, India chose the Scorpène design; purchasing six submarines for US$3 billion (US$500 million per boat). Under a technology transfer agreement, the state-owned Mazagon Docks in Mumbai was to manufacture the submarines, and deliver them between 2012 and 2016, however the project is running six years behind schedule. The Kalvari-class submarines, formally classified as the Project-75 submarines (P-75), is a class of diesel-electric attack submarines currently being manufactured by a joint-partnership of Naval Group and Mazagon Dock Limited (MDL) for the Indian Navy (IN).

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