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After the IAF, the Indian Navy will acquire Rafale fighter jets

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The Indian Navy rejected the American F/A-18 Super Hornet jet and opted for the Rafale deal. The Rafale M deal is seen as a milestone in India-France relations Image Courtesy AP

Paris: After the Indian Air Force (IAF), the Indian Navy is also in line to get Rafale fighter jets from France. Previously, the Indian Air Force (IAF) chose the Rafale for its new squadron, now the Indian Navy is set to acquire the Rafale M.

According to French media, this agreement could be signed between the two countries during the visit of French President Emmanuel Macron to India in March.

Interestingly, the Indian Navy rejected the US F/A-18 Super Hornet jet and opted for the Rafale deal. The Rafale M agreement is considered an important step in relations between India and France.

If you believe the defense sources, then the Indian Navy is about to sign a multi-billion dollar deal with France for 26 Rafale M jets.

The Rafale M will be deployed on the INS Vikrant

Dassault Aviation, the manufacturer of the Rafale, is confident that the Rafale M will fit the Indian Navy’s INS Vikrant warship. The Rafale M is still used by the armies of Greece, Indonesia and the United Arab Emirates.

The interesting thing is that the Indian Navy rejected the American F/A-18 Super Hornet fighter jet. Both fighter jets were tested by the Navy earlier this year. A detailed report of this trial was submitted to the Indian Ministry of Defense in December. Both fighter jets were tested at INS Hansa, a naval base in Goa.

Why the Indian Navy chose the Rafale M

The Indian Navy believes that the Rafale can better meet its needs. The Indian Navy wants to decommission 43 obsolete Russian MiG-29K and MiG-29KUB fighter jets from its fleet. The Navy had several aircraft names in mind but the final race pitted the Rafale M against the F-18. The French Navy currently has 240 Rafale aircraft M. Dassault started manufacturing these jets from the year 1986.

Both jets are already deployed on forward aircraft carriers. In such a situation, both jets are suitable for aircraft carriers equipped with the CATOBARs system.

The Indian Navy currently has a new aircraft carrier INS Vikrant and an old INS Vikramaditya.

INS Vikramaditya is a Soviet Union Kyiv-class aircraft carrier that was retrofitted in India. Both of these warships are STOBAR aircraft carriers.

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