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French Navy Chief to visit India amid Rafale row

ANI  |  New Delhi [India] 

Amid an ongoing controversy on the Rafale deal, Vice would be in on a three-day visit to discuss ways to further strengthen military ties between the two countries.

The visit, scheduled from January 7th to January 9th, is taking place when the is looking forward to buying 57 multirole fighter planes for operations from the carrier, while Rafale being one of the contenders along with of America and Gripen of

"Vice Christophe Prazuck, of the Naval Staff, would be in and hold meetings with his naval counterpart Sunil Lanba," officials said.

The operates the Rafale plane from its carrier. They had used them for conducting airstrikes in Afghanistan, and other conflict zones.

The has asked to acquire additional Rafale combat for both the and the Indian Navy along with the 36 planes that will start arriving in the country by the year 2020.

More than a year ago, the Indian Navy had invited foreign vendors to carry out trials to see if the planes could operate off the INS Vikramaditya.

The French Rafale, Swedish Sea Gripen, Russian and American are the contenders for the over Rs one lakh crore mega deal of the maritime force.

Aircraft manufacturers, including the French Rafale and American F-18, had taken part in the trials and were asked to provide more inputs on their respective plane's capabilities to be able to take off and land at the Vikramaditya.

The trials were held at INS Vikramaditya's home-base in Karwar in

The Indian Navy has a fleet of 45 imported from and they are operating from the Vikramaditya.

The Rafale jet deal controversy has been on the boil over the last a few months. The and other opposition parties have been alleging irregularities in the high-profile deal, which the ruling BJP has denied outrightly.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, January 04 2019. 18:35 IST