A high-level French delegation is in India to negotiate the price and other related issues for the all-important 26 Rafale Marine fighter aircraft deal, valued at ₹50,000 Crore

The talks, which were earlier supposed to be held on 30 May, were postponed to second week of June in view of the recently-concluded Lok Sabha elections.

“The French delegation is in New Delhi, including officials from their Directorate General of Armament which is looking after the sale of the Rafale jets to India,” ANI quoted defence as saying.

Sources said the Indian side in these government-to-government talks is represented by the officials from the Directorate General of Acquisition under the Ministry of Defence and other military officers from the user side.

The project, likely to be worth over ₹50,000 crore, will help increase the number of these advanced aircraft in the Indian inventory to 62 with the existing 36 in the Air Force fleet.

The aircraft would be operated from the aircraft carriers of the Indian Navy including the INS Vikramaditya and the INS Vikrant.

As per the plans, the Indian Navy will deploy these aircraft at the INS Degha in Vishakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh as their home base.

France had submitted its response to India’s tender for buying 26 Rafale Marine jets for the Indian Navy’s aircraft carriers - INS Vikrant and INS Vikramaditya in December last year.

The response to India’s Letter of Acceptance had been submitted by France in New Delhi.

Indian side is carrying out negotiations with French government officials, as it is a government-to-government contract and India is trying to get a better deal.

(With Agency Inputs)