HomeAatmanirbhar BharatIndia and France finalise roadmap for defence industry

India and France finalise roadmap for defence industry

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New Delhi: India and France have concluded a Defence Industrial Roadmap that will entail co-development, co-designing and co-production of various defence items with a focus on products addressing requirements of third countries as well, foreign secretary Vinay Kwatra said on Friday.

The two countries also agreed upon a roadmap for defence aspects of the space sector at the summit between President Emmanuel Macron and Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Jaipur on Thursday night.

ET was the first to report that the two leaders held threadbare discussion on defence industrial partnership and that the defence aspect of space sector partnership would also figure prominently at the talks.

NewSpace India Ltd (NSIL), the commercial arm of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), and Arianespace finalised an MoU for satellite launches during the leaders’ summit.

Tata Group and Airbus Helicopters agreed on an industrial partnership for H125 helicopters with a significant indigenous and localisation component.

Addressing a special briefing here following the Republic Day celebrations where Macron was the chief guest, the foreign secretary said the discussions on the defence partnership among other issues focused on joint development of a combat aircraft engine, acquisition of Rafale M fighters, and building of Scorpene-class submarines. The two sides have also agreed on health sector cooperation and five-year Schengen visa for MA alumni in France among other issues. An agreement was signed between the two countries’ ministries of health on healthcare cooperation, education, training, and research, Kwatra said. This would include the space of digital health and the use of artificial intelligence in the healthcare sector.Kwatra also referred to advancing Indo-French cooperation in underwater domain awareness, robotics, and cyber defence.

It was also decided that the year 2026 will be celebrated as the India-France Year of Innovation.

Macron’s visit comes at a time when India is looking at buying 26 Rafale M fighters for the Indian Navy’s first indigenous aircraft carrier, the INS Vikrant.

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