On May 8, 2023, Eric Papin, the Chief Technological Officer (CTO) of a French defence organisation called Naval Group, said that India has the potential to absorb sensitive technologies for its own needs and export to friendly countries.
He also said the Naval Group is looking at India beyond than just a manufacturing destination, and projects are underway to develop new technologies. He also expressed confidence that Indian organisations are well-positioned to “innovate for the future.”
“I am particularly mentioning in this light of the air-independent propulsion for submarines, closely monitored by the Indian Government. This collaborative approach will be extended to more such projects in the field of futuristic underwater weapons and drones,” he said.
At the Namaste France event, held from (April 7, 2023, till April 12, 2023) Papin recently met representatives from key Indian companies. More than 40 Indian and French companies took part in this event. The main objective was aimed at collaborations and joint projects in the future.
“Naval Group aims to go beyond Make in India and we firmly believe that India has the immense capacity to absorb sensitive technologies for its domestic needs and for an ambitious vision for defence export to friendly countries,” he said.
Papin also explained that future conventional submarines are being offered with the latest generation of Lithium-Ion Batteries (LIB). “The benefits of the LIB are significantly better than lead acid batteries by allowing more useful energy available, increased submerged autonomy, reduced indiscretion rate, better availability and better maintainability,” he said.
In recent years, the company has focused on energy efficiency with modern batteries based on lithium-ion technology, unmanned underwater platforms of various sizes and missions, integrating different unmanned vessels and using Artificial Intelligence (AI) in underwater drones.
Eric Papin has said the collaborations have been forged by the Naval Group and French institutes with top academic institutions like the Indian Institute of Technology (IITs) and (NITs) (National Institutes of Technology) for research on new technologies.
Some of them include underwater signal analyses using AI, Track Motion Analysis and Non-Destructive Tests on specific materials.
The Naval Group is a French organisation that makes a range of nuclear and conventional submarines, surface ships and underwater weapon systems such as torpedoes. It is working with two Indian Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs) to develop the six submarines for the Indian Navy named “Kalvari Class.”