India and France brokered a deal for 26 Rafale-M aircraft to further develop India’s naval capabilities to compete with China.
After negotiations last year, the nations will sign the contract, making the purchase, sourced from India’s capital budget, official. Also included in this deal are three more Kalvari-class submarines, which will increase the number India operates to nine.
India currently operates 36 Rafales, which include both one- and two-seat variants. The 26 incoming aircraft will be equipped with indigenous weapons systems and will operate from India’s aircraft carriers.