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India-France Defence Collaboration Strengthened

by Web Desk
India-France Defence Collaboration Strengthened

India and France finalized their defence industrial roadmap and a series of strategically important agreements on January 26 during French President Emmanuel Macron’s visit to New Delhi.

New Roadmap Drawn Up For Collaborations In Defence

The new roadmap is expected to help the Indian and French defence sectors collaborate in projects requiring joint designing and production, said foreign secretary Vinay Mohan Kwatra at a press conference in New Delhi yesterday. The focus will be on air, space, maritime, land warfare, robotics and artificial intelligence technology, among other areas. The two nations, New Delhi and Paris, had agreed to pursue the roadmap during Prime Minister Modi’s visit to France in July 2023.

Two sides also agreed on a letter of intent to boost defence space cooperation. Kwatra said the goal is to enhance space situational awareness, preventing collisions in space and other activities like earth monitoring and remote sensing.

New Space India Ltd (NSIL) also signed an MoU with France’s Arianespace on satellite launch capabilities.

Manufacture Of H125 Helicopters In India

Kwatra announced that Tata and Airbus are set to establish a final assembly line (FAL) to make H125 helicopters in India. The two firms also hope to export the H125 helicopter to neighbouring countries. Airbus stated that the move was a push forward the “Make in India” campaign.

However, the major announcement on the purchase of Rafale marine aircraft or Scorpene submarines from India that was expected to be an outcome of meetings during the visit did not happen.

“The visits are not focused on individual transactions,” Kwatra said in response to queries on the status of the deals.

On January 25, Modi and Macron held talks in Jaipur on bilateral ties and other regional and global issues. The ongoing Red Sea crisis and the Ukraine war also featured in the discussions.

“With regards to developments in the Red Sea, the potential disruptions and the actual things happening in the maritime domain there which are causing disruption to commercial shipping, is a matter of serious concern and both leaders focused on it,” Kwatra said.

He confirmed that an agreement was reached on mobility for young professionals. A five-year Schengen visa provision for Indian students completing their Masters in France will be activated, he said.

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