The Indian Government has announced its decision to equip its Navy with the Navy Rafale, following a successful trial campaign held in India and intensive international competition initiated by Indian authorities.

This move solidifies India’s air and maritime dominance while strengthening the longstanding partnership between India and France.

In developing its defence capabilities, the Indian Government has chosen the Navy Rafale as the latest-generation fighter aircraft to be deployed in the Indian Navy’s arsenal. During the trials, the Navy Rafale showcased its ability to meet the Indian Navy’s operational requirements as an ideal fit for the unique specifications of its aircraft carrier, the INS Vikrant.

The addition of 26 Navy Rafale fighters to the Indian Navy’s fleet will complement the existing 36 Rafale aircraft already in service with the Indian Air Force. By adopting both versions of the Rafale, India becomes the first nation to align its military choices with France, ensuring its air and maritime sovereignty.

In 2022, Greece signed a deal to procure six additional Rafale jets, increasing the Hellenic Air Force’s fleet to 24 aircraft, while France is also to order 42 Dassault Rafale fighters this year.

This selection underscores the quality of the partnership between Dassault Aviation and the Indian Armed Forces. It also emphasizes the importance of the relationship between India and France.

Protecting India’s Indo-Pacific interests

Expressing gratitude for the Indian Government’s decision, Eric Trappier, Chairman and CEO of Dassault Aviation, stated, “As we celebrate the 70th anniversary of our partnership with the Indian Forces, I would like to thank the Indian authorities for this new mark of confidence. We are committed to fulfilling the Indian Navy’s expectations and delivering exceptional performance with the Rafale.”

The Rafale has established a reputation as a versatile and advanced fighter aircraft known for its air-to-air and air-to-ground missions capabilities. With this selection, India takes another leap forward in strengthening its air and maritime superiority while reinforcing its position as a key player in the global defence arena.

The Navy Rafale’s induction into the Indian Navy promises to enhance the country’s defence preparedness, allowing it to address evolving security challenges in the region effectively. This decision highlights India’s commitment to modernizing its armed forces and signifies its determination to protect its interests and maintain peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region.

According to GlobalData’s “The Global Military Fixed Wing Aircraft Market 2023-2033” report, China’s maritime and territorial disputes with most of its neighbouring countries are expected to drive the procurement of military aircraft and advanced weapon systems across the region.

Due to these issues, countries are now being impelled to enhance their defence capabilities to protect their territorial integrity and counter military aggression. This can be seen with India procuring Dassault Rafale and the ongoing efforts to develop its indigenous Tejas Mk-2 and AMCA projects.

As the Indian Navy embarks on a new era of enhanced operational capabilities, the Navy Rafale is poised to play a role in safeguarding India’s national security, maintaining maritime dominance, and reinforcing its commitment to international security collaborations.