Dassault Aviation’s French-made Rafale M is destined to be the Indian Navy’s next-generation carrier fighter after New Delhi approved the purchase of 26 of the planes. The navalized Rafale M appears to have fought off competition from Boeing’s F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and is planned to be acquired as part of a major French arms package that will also include three Scorpène class diesel-electric attack submarines.

The Indian Ministry of Defense’s Defence Acquisition Council, which is in control of procurement, revealed Thursday that the Rafale Ms and three submarines have received preliminary approval. That statement came just days before Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was scheduled to visit France.
More specifically, the French arms purchase will include four two-seat Rafales for training purposes.

There is currently no two-seat variant of the navalized Rafale M, thus it is unclear whether these four aircraft will be a new, India-specific model or land-based two-seaters like those employed by the Indian Air Force and others.

Meanwhile, according to Reuters, the three Scorpène class submarines would be built in collaboration by India’s Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders and France’s Naval Group. The Indian Navy earlier purchased six Scorpène submarines from France for $2.29 billion, with the final scheduled to be delivered next year.

According to Reuters, the combined transaction will be worth roughly $9.75 billion, though the Indian government has declined to comment.

However, Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh stated in a statement that the “price and other terms of purchase will be negotiated with the French government after taking into account all relevant aspects, including comparative procurement price of similar aircraft by other countries.”

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