France submits response for Indian tender to buy 26 Rafale-M fighter jets

France has submitted its response to India’s tender for buying 26 (Rafale Marine) Rafale-M fighter jets for the Indian Navy’s aircraft carriers – INS Vikrant and INS Vikramaditya.

As of now, the response to India’s Letter of Acceptance has been submitted by France to India.

India will now carry out a detailed study of the French bid for the Indian deal including the commercial offer or price for the aircraft, along with other details of the contract.

Subsequently, it will negotiate the deal with French government officials, as it is a government-to-government contract.

Earlier, more than a month ago, India delivered the Letter of Request (LoR) to the French government.

Basically, the 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 Rafale-M fighter jets.

It is worth mentioning that the Navy and the government are working in a fast-track mode to ensure that the acquisition contract is signed at the earliest and Indian carriers can operate the highly capable aircraft to ensure an edge for Indian in the Indian Ocean region.

As per the plans, the Indian Navy will get 22 single-seated Rafale Marine aircraft along with four trainer aircraft.

The deal is expected to be in the range of  $4.5 Billion (Rs 50,000 crores) approximately.

Earlier, 36 Dassault Aviation manufactured Rafale aircraft have also been procured for the Indian Air Force.

The Navy plans to get the Rafale jets to supplement the MiG-29K jets onboard the two carriers which have been plagued with reliability issues.

About Rafale-M fighter jets

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.