India and France Set to Forge Stronger Defence Relations

Bilateral relations between France and India could be termed as symbiotic and cordial. While the relation stretches to several fields including culture, trade and commerce and others, a common stand on anti-terrorism and warfare and strategic cooperation, is at the root of the relationship. Similar viewpoints as regards space research, science and technology and military, have brought the two countries closer.  In fact, France was one of those few countries, who didn’t condemn the Pokhran II nuclear tests in 1998. It has also supported the Indian bid for a permanent United Nations Security Council seat.

New Delhi and Paris enjoy extensive strategic cooperation with military services of both sides conducting joint exercise. India has bought much military arsenal from France, particularly the Mirage 2000 combat aircrafts and Scorpene class submarines.  Besides, Paris is among the largest provider of nuclear fuel to India. It signed the “Framework Agreement for Civil Nuclear Co-operation” in January 2008, during Nicolas Sarkozy’s visit to New Delhi.  The two countries maintain circumspect strategic dialogues which cover joint cooperation against terrorism and militancy.

A plan for fire-and-forget missiles and advanced multi-mode pulse doppler radar, is at the centre of an estimated Rs. 9,640 crore upgradation programme of the 50-odd Mirage 2000 combat jets in the IAF’s kitty. The planned upgradation is slated for execution by French companies Thales and D’Assault along with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited. The IAF, at present, operates two Mirage 2000 squadrons and the programme would enable the aircrafts to carry out a mission accurately because of greater fuel efficiency and weapon delivery capacity. The project would involve equipping the aircrafts with enhanced weapons carrying capability and fly-by-wire digital cockpit.

Under the programme, Thales and D’Assault will deliver the first couple of upgraded aircrafts within 40 months of the deal being finalised. HAL, at the same time, will upgrade another two aircrafts. The Indian DPSU, later, will execute the rest of the upgradation programme for the aircrafts in India.

New Delhi and Paris are also slated to co-develop SRSAM missiles, named “Maitri”, under an agreement between Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and the French manufacturer MBDA. The missile will provide the Indian armed forces with a better air defence capability for securing its vital installations. While the two countries conceived the project in 2007, it has taken over three years to materialise. The next generation of air defence missiles, supposed to be inducted in the air force, army and navy, are likely to be made available for exports. India and France are also co-developing the Kaveri engine, for use is India’s indigenous light combat aircraft “Tejas”. HAL has joined French Snecma for the project.

The two countries, in the years to come, are slated to enter a definitive era of defence and strategic partnership. Cooperation pertaining to maritime security and anti-piracy are also on the anvil. With the volume of Indo-France bilateral trade projected to touch 12 billion euros by 2012, from the 6.5 billion at present, it can be assumed that New Delhi and Paris are about usher in a fresh era in their bilateral relations.

Submit your comment

Please enter your name

Your name is required

Please enter a valid email address

An email address is required

Please enter your message

India Blog © 2017 All Rights Reserved

Proud2BIndian is a Non-political patriotic Group dedicated to the Promotion of Nationalism in India.

Proud to be Indian

Powered by WordPress