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Indian, French governments negotiating 26 Rafale marine jet deal

New Delhi: India and France are carrying out negotiations for the price and other related issues for the all-important 26 Rafale Marine fighter aircraft deal for the Indian Navy.

The talks were earlier supposed to be held on May 30 but were postponed to June second week, apparently in view of the pending election process of the Lok Sabha polls.

"The French delegation is in New Delhi, including officials from their Directorate General of Armament which is looking after the sale of the Rafale jets to India," defence sources told ANI.

The Indian side in these government-to-government talks is represented by the officials from the Directorate General of Acquisition under the Ministry of Defence and other military officers from the user side, they said.

The overall project is likely to be worth over Rs 50,000 crore and would help increase the number of these advanced aircraft in the Indian inventory to 62 with the existing 36 in the Air Force fleet.

The aircraft would be operated from the aircraft carriers of the Indian Navy including the INS Vikramaditya and the INS Vikrant.

As per the plans, the Indian Navy will deploy these aircraft at the INS Degha in Vishakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh as their home base.

France had submitted its response to India's tender for buying 26 Rafale Marine jets for the Indian Navy's aircraft carriers - INS Vikrant and INS Vikramaditya in December last year.

The response to India's Letter of Acceptance had been submitted by France in New Delhi.

Indian side is carrying out negotiations with French government officials, as it is a government-to-government contract and India is trying to get a better deal. 

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