According to the Indian Defense News Network, on Wednesday, India received three more French Rafale fighters, which means that India and France may not be far away from signing an agreement to order submarines.
A source familiar with the Indian Navy’s P75I submarine procurement bidding said that these submarines will come from the French Naval Group (Naval Group), which “will formulate an offer that is very consistent with the direction of Indian manufacturing.”
The source spoke of the meeting between French Defense Minister Florance Parli and Indian Foreign Minister Singh in September. The meeting discussed India-France defense cooperation and procurement contracts, including “ongoing cooperation and possible future prospects,” the source said, including the P75I submarine tender.
The tender will build 6 AIP silent submarines, which will have longer underwater endurance than those already delivered to the Indian Navy.
Harsh V Pant, director of the strategic research project at the Observer Research Foundation, an independent think tank in India, said the deal is expected to be finalized sometime next year and is worth 420 billion rupees ($5.6 billion).
The report pointed out that in the past five years, the defense trade between France and India has increased. According to data from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, France was India’s eighth largest arms supplier from 2010 to 2014, and reached a deal worth US$199 million. In the next five years, France rose to third place, exporting US$1.6 billion worth of weapons and equipment to India. Russia and Israel ranked first and second respectively.
According to reports, the cooperation between New Delhi and Paris is not limited to arms deals. France also supports India’s efforts to become a permanent member of the UN Security Council. The two countries also hope to elevate the defense cooperation relationship to a height beyond the current sales relationship. In order to achieve this goal, France, India, and Australia have begun dialogues outside the G4 (the United States, India, Australia, and Japan).