India gives ‘Letter of Request’ to France for buying 26 Rafale-M fighter jets for Navy

India has given the Letter of Request (LoR) to the French Government for the procurement of 26 Rafale-M (Marine) fighter aircraft for the Indian Navy under a government-to-government deal.

The Letter of Request has been delivered to the French government a few days back and they are expected to decide on the Indian request and respond in the near future.

Basically, LoR is like a tender document in which the Indian government has specified all its requirements and capabilities that it would want to have in the Rafale-M aircraft.

Worth mentioning that the deal worth $4.5 Billion approx. was cleared by the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) in July this year.

Further, as per the proposal, the Indian Navy will get 22 single-seated Rafale Marine aircraft along with four trainer aircraft.

These will be used aboard India’s indigenously developed aircraft carrier INS Vikrant.

Also, it has been reported that India would be requesting the integration of its indigenous missiles including the Astra air-to-air missile as part of the package from France.

The configuration of the aircraft is expected to be similar to what has been provided to the Indian Air Force.

About Rafale-M

Rafale-M is a single-seater aircraft for carrier operations. The envisaged roles include air-to-surface attack, shipborne air defence, aerial refueling, reconnaissance, electronic warfare, etc.

The requirements are flexible, including single- or multi-engine, short take-off but arrested recovery (STOBAR) or catapult-assisted take-off but arrested recovery (CATOBAR), or both.

Armaments are to include a gun plus four beyond-visual-range air-to-air missiles and two all-aspect air-to-air missiles.