France Invites India On Bastille Day, To Celebrate French Revolution
India is going to participate in the Bastille Day parade in France this week, on July 14, 2023. The French government has invited India to participate in the parade, making PM Modi as the chief guest.
A 269-member tri-services contingent of the Indian armed forces will be marching alongside their French counterparts.
The contingent will include personnel from the Indian Army, Indian Navy, and Indian Air Force. They will be carrying the national flag, the Ashoka Chakra, and the Tricolor (Tiranga).
The Indian Air Force will also be participating in the flypast, with four Rafale fighter jets and two C-17 Globemasters.
The Rafale jets are the latest addition to the Indian Air Force’s fleet, and their participation in the flypast is a sign of the strong military ties between India and France.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be the chief guest at the Bastille Day parade. This is a significant honor, and it reflects the growing importance of India-France relations.
The two countries have a long history of cooperation, and they are increasingly working together on a range of issues, including security, defense, and trade.
During the visit to France, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to sign a deal to purchase the naval/marine version of the Rafale fighter jets.
The acquisition of these jets is likely to be through a govt-to-govt deal, bypassing an open tender process to save time. The decision is expected to be made at the defense acquisition council meeting before PM Modi’s departure.
The visit aims to strengthen bilateral ties, including discussions on joint military platform production, the purchase of Rafale-M jets for the Indian Navy’s INS Vikrant aircraft carrier, nuclear reactors, and space cooperation.
The Indian Navy conducted trials last year and selected the Rafale-M over Boeing’s F/A-18 Block III ‘Super Hornet.’ Reports suggest that the Rafale-M will be cheaper than the version acquired by the Indian Air Force.
The Indian Navy is seeking a short-term solution to replace its aging MiG-29K fighters, while also working on developing its own Twin-Engine Deck-Based Fighters (TEDBF) in the long term.
As the indigenous aircraft will take time to develop, the acquisition of Rafale-M jets will fulfill the Navy’s aviation requirements.
The Rafale and Rafale-M variants share more than 80% of their components, leading to commonality in repairs and maintenance with the Indian Air Force’s Rafale jets. This synergy will facilitate joint training and maintenance for both services.
During the visit, PM Modi will also address a diaspora event and participate in a private dinner hosted by President Macron.
They will discuss bilateral and global issues, followed by delegation-level talks after the Bastille Day parade.
The Bastille Day Parade parade will feature a contingent from the Indian Army, an Indian Air Force Rafale fighter, and the presence of the Indian Navy. The forces of both countries will participate in the parade together.