Saturday, January 27, 2024
By
Reuters

India, France to jointly produce defence equipment

Macron, Modi agree to expand bilateral ties in defence production, nuclear energy, space research and use of AI

By
Reuters
Frances President Emmanuel Macron speaks as Indias Prime Minister Narendra Modi listens during a meeting at The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Paris, France on July 14, 2023. — Reuters
France's President Emmanuel Macron speaks as India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi listens during a meeting at The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Paris, France on July 14, 2023. — Reuters 

  • Defence production include helicopters, submarines.
  • Macron and Modi agree to expand bilateral ties.
  • France is largest arms supplier to India after Russia.


NEW DELHI: India has signed an agreement with France to jointly produce defence equipment including helicopters and submarines for the Indian Armed Forces and friendly countries, Reuters reported Saturday. 

The deal between the two countries was struck during French President Emmanuel Macron's visit to India where he met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and attended a state banquet hosted by President Draupadi Murmu, said New Delhi. 

Macron and Modi agreed to expand bilateral ties in defence production, nuclear energy, space research and the use of artificial intelligence for public services like climate change, health and agriculture, the statement said.

It did not specify the value of any deals.

After Russia, France is the largest arms supplier to India, which has relied on its fighter jets for four decades.

The leaders welcomed the setting up of maintenance, repair and overhaul services by France's Safran for leading-edge aviation propulsion (LEAP) engines in India and adding such services for Rafale engines, and a helicopter partnership.

The bilateral summit during Macron's 40-hour visit was the fifth Macron-Modi meeting since May.

India's Tata Group and France's Airbus have signed an agreement to manufacture civilian helicopters together, Indian Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra said.

French jet engine maker CFM International also announced an agreement with India’s Akasa Air to buy more than 300 of its LEAP-1B engines to power 150 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft.

Akasa Air previously ordered 76 aircraft powered by the engine, of which 22 are in use.

India and France agreed to intensify cooperation in the southwest Indian Ocean, building on joint surveillance missions carried out from the French island territory of La Reunion in 2020 and 2022, the government statement said.

Macron also said France would create conditions to attract up to 30,000 Indian students a year for higher education. (Reporting by Manoj Kumar; Editing by William Mallard)