Economy

India, France agree on deeper French involvement in defence projects

BL New Delhi Bureau | Updated on: May 05, 2022
Prime Minister Narendra Modi with President of France Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte Macron, at Elysee Palace, Paris, on Thursday

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with President of France Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte Macron, at Elysee Palace, Paris, on Thursday

Foreign Secretary said the discussions focussed on how the two countries can partner more strongly in co-designing, co-development, co-production of different defence equipment

France will look for “creative ways for deeper involvement” of its companies to aide India’s attempt to indigenously manufacture and export defence equipment.

Following a meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris on Wednesday, the two sides issued a joint statement which appreciated the long-standing bilateral armament cooperation, but was silent on the possibility of outcome of engagement on specific negotiations. Most important is the prolonged talks over co-development of fighter jet engine.

Growing trust

“Taking forward this momentum, and based on their mutual trust, both sides agreed to find creative ways for France’s deeper involvement in the Aatmanirbhar Bharat efforts in advanced defence technology, manufacturing and exports, including through encouraging increased industry to industry partnerships,” read the joint statement.

Responding to questions on Rafale, Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra reportedly told media in Paris, “So, I think discussions today in the field of defence were focussed more on how the two countries can partner more strongly in the field of co-designing, co-development, co-production of different defence equipment in India.”

With France becoming the second biggest supplier of arms to India, the two nations acknowledged the growing trust witnessed in manufacturing of six Scorpene submarines at MDL in Mumbai, which “illustrates the level of transfer of technology from France to India, in line with the Make in India initiative”.

Before Modi left for the three European nation tour, French company Naval Group had pulled out of Navy's P-75I project to build six conventional submarines domestically. The reason was their concern to certain conditions listed in the request for proposal (RFP) on air independent propulsion (AIP) system.

Timely delivery of the Rafale despite the pandemic was also noted to express the deepening ties.

Published on May 05, 2022
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