India and France forge stronger ties in defence and aerospace

Kwatra disclosed that India’s Tata group and France’s Airbus have inked an agreement to manufacture civilian helicopters, emphasizing a substantial indigenous and localization component.

India’s Ambassador to France, Jawed Ashraf, revealed that Safran, a leading French aerospace company, is prepared to collaborate with India and share technology for the development of fighter jet engines. This announcement reflects the growing partnership between the two countries in the defence and aerospace sectors.

The revelation came during a media briefing where Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra highlighted key outcomes of talks between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Emmanuel Macron in Jaipur. Kwatra disclosed that India’s Tata group and France’s Airbus have inked an agreement to manufacture civilian helicopters, emphasizing a substantial indigenous and localization component.

Furthermore, India and France have solidified a defense-industrial partnership roadmap aimed at fostering co-development and co-production of critical military hardware and platforms. This partnership will also facilitate technology collaboration across various domains, including space, land warfare, cyberspace, and artificial intelligence.

The strengthening ties between India and France are part of a comprehensive 25-year plan aimed at deepening cooperation in defence, nuclear energy, and space. Last year, Prime Minister Modi was invited to attend Bastille Day celebrations in France, where plans were unveiled to acquire additional submarines from France’s Naval Group and 26 marine Rafale fighter jets from Dassault Aviation SA.

The visit of French President Emmanuel Macron to Jaipur further solidified these commitments, as he arrived with a high-profile delegation that included CEOs from prominent French companies such as Airbus and Safran. This visit underscores France’s commitment to bolstering its strategic partnership with India and enhancing collaboration in key sectors.

The agreement with Safran holds particular significance for India’s indigenous defence capabilities, as access to advanced technology for fighter jet engines is crucial for the nation’s defence preparedness. Collaborating with a renowned aerospace company like Safran will not only enhance India’s technological capabilities but also foster greater self-reliance in defence production.

The partnership between India and France extends beyond defence and aerospace, encompassing various other sectors such as trade, investment, and cultural exchange. Both countries recognize the mutual benefits of closer cooperation and are committed to realizing the full potential of their strategic partnership.

As India continues to modernize its armed forces and bolster its defence capabilities, partnerships with leading global players like France play a crucial role in achieving these objectives. The collaboration between Safran and India signals a new chapter in defence cooperation, marking a significant milestone in the long-standing relationship between the two nations.