What are the new 26 Rafale naval jets India getting from France?

Asked 12-Jul-2023
Updated 13-Jul-2023
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India is about to negotiate a contract with France to buy 26 Rafale M naval fighters and three more Scorpene submarines. These agreements, which are estimated to be worth Rs 90,000 crore, are anticipated to be completed during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's trip to France from July 14 to July 16.

On Monday, July 10, the defense procurement board (DPP) approved the transactions. The defense ministry is anticipated to quickly approve the Indian Navy's intention to operate the Rafale aircraft on its aircraft carriers. The Indian Navy has been struggling to meet its needs due to a paucity of planes and submarines.

PM Modi has been invited to attend the Bastille Day Parade in Paris on July 14 as the chief guest. The 36 Rafale fighter jets that India has previously purchased are distinct from the Rafale naval jets that India plans to purchase from France.

What are the new 26 Rafale naval jets India getting from France

Difference between Rafale Fighter and Navy Jets

The Rafale naval jets are made primarily for operations from aircraft carriers, whereas the Rafale fighter jets are made for operations on the ground.

Compatible with aircraft carriers

The navy jets have folding wings that make for easy storage on ships. In order to assist takeoffs and landings on pitching carrier decks, they also have a stronger undercarriage.

The navy jets are armed with air-to-surface and anti-ship missiles, among other specialized marine armaments. The fighter jets, on the other hand, do not have these capabilities because they are not designed for carrier-based missions.


Due to its carrier-specific features, like the folding wing design and stronger undercarriage, naval jets are more expensive than fighter aircraft.

The necessity for Rafale naval jets in India

Strengthening naval air power

By replacing the outdated MiG-29K planes now in use by the Indian Navy, the purchase of Rafale naval jets would strengthen India's naval air capability. Rafale naval planes would give India a more capable and contemporary fighter jet, acting as a deterrence to possible threats as China increases its naval presence in the Indian Ocean region.

Protecting marine interests

India has important maritime resources, such as fishing fleets, merchant ships, and oil rigs. These resources would be protected from potential attacks by the Rafale naval jets.

Rafale naval jets' operational advantages

Longer reach and stamina

The Rafale naval planes have a longer range and endurance than the MiG-29K fighters, enabling operations farther from the coast and for longer periods of time.

Enhanced survivability

The Rafale naval jets provide greater survivability in combat scenarios because to their superior avionics and electronic warfare equipment.


The naval jets are capable of carrying out a variety of tasks, such as air-to-air combat, air-to-surface attacks, and anti-ship warfare. The Indian Navy has many choices in prospective wars thanks to its adaptability.

To sum up

India's naval capabilities will be considerably improved by the purchase of Rafale naval jets. As a deterrent to Chinese invasion, it will bolster naval air power and defend India's maritime interests.

These naval jets will give the Indian Navy greater ability to defend and exert its influence in the region because to their increased range, increased survivability, and operational flexibility.