India and France to begin final contract negotiations this week for the 26 Rafale-M fighter

Contract negotiations between the governments of India and France for 26 Rafale Marine fighter jets, valued at Rs 50,000 crore, are scheduled to begin on May 30 with the arrival of a high-level French delegation in New Delhi.

The French delegation would meet with its Indian Defence Ministry counterparts for official negotiations, defence industry officials told ANI.

The French team will include officials from their defence ministry and industry, including original equipment manufacturers Dassault Aviation and Thales, the officials said. The Indian side would include members from the defence acquisition wing and the Indian Navy.

Sources in the government said that they would try to complete negotiations with France and sign the agreement by the end of this financial year.

France had submitted its response to India’s proposal for buying the 26 jets in December itself. The Indian side has conducted a detailed study of the French bid, including the commercial offer and other contract details, officials said

India will now engage in tough negotiations with French government officials, as this is a government-to-government contract.

The Indian Navy seeks to acquire 26 Rafale Marine jets for operation from its aircraft carriers, INS Vikrant and INS Vikramaditya. The Navy Chief has directed his team to expedite the project timeline to ensure early finalization and induction of the jets.

(With ANI input)

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