Amid increasing cooperation in the defence sector between the two nations, India is setting up a technical office of the DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organisation) at its embassy in Paris, according to the India-France joint statement on July 14.
France is one of India’s most important allies in building a self-sufficient defence industrial and technological foundation, the statement informed, adding that the co-development and co-production of cutting-edge defence technologies for the benefit of third nations is a joint commitment of India and France. To this end, both countries are also working towards adopting a Roadmap on Defence Industrial Cooperation, it added.
It noted further that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s two-day official visit to France, during which he attended the Bastille Day Parade as the Guest of Honour, the two countries welcomed the timely delivery of the 36 Rafale ordered by India.
“In line with their outstanding cooperation in military aviation spanning over five decades, India and France welcome the timely delivery of the 36 Rafale ordered by India. In the future, India and France will extend their ground-breaking defence cooperation in advanced aeronautical technologies by supporting the joint development of a combat aircraft engine,” the India-France joint communique read.
The two leaders stood in support of Safran Helicopter Engine’s (France) industrial cooperation for the motorisation of heavy-lift helicopters under the Indian Multi-Role Helicopter [IMRH] programme. A shareholders’ agreement for engine development was reached between Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), India, and Safran Helicopter Engine, France, to facilitate the advancement of the IMRH programme, it added.
Earlier, in a significant decision India and France had decided to extend their ground-breaking defence cooperation in advanced aeronautical technologies by supporting the joint development of a combat aircraft engine.
Moreover, India and France hailed the success of the first Scorpene submarine construction programme (P75 – Kalvari), a model of Make in India and the sharing of naval expertise between companies in the two countries, it added.
The two countries also welcomed the MoU between Mazgon Dockyard Ltd and Naval Group for constructing three additional submarines under the P75 programme.
Further, the statement noted, India and France are ready to explore more ambitious projects to develop the Indian submarine fleet and its performance.
The agreement between Safran Helicopter Engine and HAL for the Transfer of Technology of Forging and Castings for the Shakti Engine is another illustration of this military-industry relationship built on mutual trust between the two countries, the joint statement said, adding that “this reflects the French government’s dedication to encouraging technology transfer and Make in India”.
PM Modi attended the Bastille Day Parade on France’s National Day, on July 14, as the Guest of Honour at the invitation of President Macron.
The majestic parade, which featured contingents from the Indian armed forces, took place under bright and sunny skies at Champs-Élysées in Paris. This year also marks the 25th anniversary of the strategic partnership between the two countries.
“To mark the 25th anniversary of the Indo-French partnership, both countries agree to adopt a roadmap to set the course for the bilateral relationship up to 2047, which will celebrate the centenary of India’s independence, the centenary of the diplomatic relations between the two countries and 50 years of the strategic partnership.”
The statement said India and France intend to work together in the interest of international peace and stability and reaffirm their commitment to a rules-based order in the Indo-Pacific and beyond.
“They agree to work within the framework of a partnership between equals, in consonance with their respective sovereign and strategic interests, as they have done since 1998. In order to further deepen this Strategic Partnership, and in keeping with universal values of liberty, equality, democracy and the rule of law, India and France have decided to strengthen cooperation in the sectors of the future, so as to reinforce their sovereignty and decision-making autonomy, and to respond together to the major challenges confronting our planet, including through the cooperation between India and the European Union.”