The Indian government confirmed on Thursday it will buy 26 Rafale Marine fighter jets and 3 Scorpene military submarines from France’s Dassault and Naval Group as India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi visits Paris.
The military deal comes as France is intensifying political and commercial ties with India, while bidding to draw the Asian powerhouse away from Russia, which is its top weapons supplier.
Modi is in Paris where he met with French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne. He will have dinner with French President Emmanuel Macron Thursday night and will attend the annual parade for France’s Bastille Day on Friday on the Champs Elysées.
The two countries are celebrating the 25th anniversary of their Indo-French strategic partnership and they are set to present a roadmap for the next 25 years of bilateral cooperation.
On Friday, Paris and New Delhi will announce new cooperation and investment projects in the transport, energy and space sectors, according to a French diplomat who was granted anonymity to speak freely.
The diplomat declined to mention which companies will be involved. However, France’s energy giant EDF has been negotiating for years to sell six nuclear reactors to India while French rail company Alstom also repeatedly supplied trains to Indian public transport networks.
Source : Politico