FRANCE- In a significant move aimed at strengthening their defense ties, India and France have announced the expansion of their groundbreaking defense cooperation in advanced aeronautical technologies, including the development of jet engine.
The two countries will collaborate on the joint development of a combat aircraft engine and an engine for the Indian multi-role helicopter (IMRH), which Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) is currently being designed and developed.
India France to Develop Jet Engine
The announcement of extended cooperation in advanced aeronautical technologies is just one of several important statements made by India and France in defense.
The two nations have also agreed to cooperate on small and advanced modular reactors and adopt a roadmap for joint actions in the Indo-Pacific region. Further, finalize the joint Earth observation satellite, and simplify visa requirements for students, among other initiatives.
According to the joint statement issued after bilateral talks between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Emmanuel Macron, a roadmap for the joint project between Safran and DRDO will be prepared before the end of this year.
The statement further emphasizes the support for industrial cooperation between HAL, India, and Safran Helicopter Engine, France, in the motorization of heavy-lift helicopters under the IMRH program.
The shareholders’ agreement for engine development has been concluded to facilitate progress on the IMRH program.
These collaborative ventures between India and France align with the spirit of trust that prevails between the two nations. They are built upon the successful experience of Indo-French technology transfer and joint development of critical components and technology building blocks.
Further Developments in Defence Cooperation
In recent developments, HAL and General Electric signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to potentially manufacture the F-414 engine for the indigenous Light Combat Aircraft MK2.
India aims to acquire a more powerful engine for the fifth-generation Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA) currently under development.
Defense cooperation has always been a strong pillar of the bilateral ties between India and France. During the joint press statement, Prime Minister Modi emphasized the importance of France as an important partner in India’s “Make in India” and “self-reliant India” initiatives.
The Defence Acquisition Council has given preliminary approval for the procurement of 26 Rafale-M fighters for India’s aircraft carriers and three additional Scorpene-class submarines from France.
The leaders welcomed the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Mazgon Dockyard Ltd., Mumbai, and Naval Group for the construction of three additional Scorpene submarines.
The statement also highlights other defense-industrial partnership initiatives. This included the transfer of technology for the Shakti Engine and collaboration in the field of surface ships. Further, the establishment of a Technical Office of DRDO in Paris.
Bastille Day Parade and Bilateral Talks
Regarding the Bastille Day parade, Prime Minister Modi expressed pride in witnessing the fly-past of Indian Rafale jets. Further, the presence of an Indian Navy ship in a French port.
The leaders also discussed new areas of cooperation, such as steel, space, energy, civil nuclear, and the liberalization of visa systems for students. They acknowledged the shared values of democracy, liberty, equality, and fraternity between the two nations.
Prime Minister Modi highlighted the negative impact of the COVID pandemic and the Ukraine conflict on countries worldwide. He emphasized the need for dialogue and diplomacy to resolve all issues.
Both leaders expressed their commitment to strong actions to combat cross-border terrorism. Further enhancing cooperation in this regard.
Recognizing their special responsibility in maintaining peace and tranquillity in the Indo-Pacific region, India and France are working on an Indo-Pacific cooperation roadmap.
The French President announced plans to send more French students to India, aiming for 30,000 students by 2030.
Following the bilateral talks, Prime Minister Modi attended a lunch hosted by the President of the National Assembly, Yaël Braun-Pivet. They discussed parliamentary cooperation, trade, economy, technology, culture, and the environment there.
The Prime Minister also met prominent personalities, including individuals of Indian origin, such as Charlotte Chopin, a yoga enthusiast, and Thomas Pasquet, a renowned French astronaut, pilot, and actor.
The meeting with Leena Nair, the global CEO of Chanel, focused on boosting skill development among artisans and promoting the popularity of Khadi.
Future Collaborations and Departure
Both leaders attended the CEOs forum and a banquet dinner in Louvre. Subsequently, highlighting the ongoing discussions and collaborations. Prime Minister Modi departed for Abu Dhabi after the bilateral talks.
He also announced the launch of India’s Unified Payment Interface (UPI) in France. He discussed civil nuclear cooperation, advanced modular reactors, defense space agency cooperation, and space-based maritime domain awareness.
India and France continue strengthening their defense ties, focusing on joint development, technological collaboration, and broader cooperation in various fields. The ongoing partnership reflects the two nations’ deep mutual trust and shared aspirations.
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