Amid an ongoing controversy on the Rafale deal, French Navy Chief Vice Admiral Christophe Prazuck would be in India 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 Indian Navy is looking forward to buying 57 multirole fighter planes for operations from the aircraft carrier, while Rafale being one of the contenders along with Boeing of America and Saab Gripen of Sweden.
"Vice Admiral Christophe Prazuck, Chief of the Naval Staff, French Navy would be in India and hold meetings with his naval counterpart Indian Navy chief Admiral Sunil Lanba," Indian Navy officials said.
The French government has asked India to acquire additional Rafale combat aircraft for both the Indian Air Force and the Indian Navy along with the 36 planes that will start arriving in the country by the year 2020.
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 Karnataka.
The Rafale jet deal controversy has been on the boil over the last a few months. The Congress and other opposition parties have been alleging irregularities in the high-profile deal, which the ruling BJP has denied outrightly.
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