Team Blitz India
NEW DELHI: India’s Tata group and France’s Airbus have inked an agreement to jointly manufacture civilian helicopters, announced India’s Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra on January 26.
The signing took place during the state visit of French President Emmanuel Macron to India on the occasion of India’s 75th Republic Day.
Already collaborating on the production of the C-295 transport aircraft in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state of Gujarat, Tata and Airbus have extended their partnership to include the manufacturing of H125 helicopters.
The Foreign Secretary emphasised the significant indigenous and localisation components in this industrial partnership during a media briefing.
Macron’s state visit also involved discussions about further cooperation in the defence sector, including the potential involvement of French engine maker Safran in manufacturing fighter jet engines in India. France stands as India’s secondlargest arms supplier, with a reliance on French fighter jets for the past four decades.
According to Indian Ambassador to France Jawed Ashraf, Safran is fully willing to engage in a 100 per cent transfer of technology in design, development, certification, production, and more. Ongoing discussions are expected to address this matter.
The Indo-French collaboration has been marked by decisive moments, notably the 2016 Rafale fighter jet deal, strengthening India’s air defence capabilities through the acquisition of 36 jets from Dassault Aviation.
The 2005 Scorpene submarines project, a cornerstone of Project 75, bolstered India’s naval prowess with the construction of six submarines, facilitated by French shipbuilder Naval Group.
In space cooperation, India’s reliability as a partner is evident in collaborations like the Ariane Space Cooperation, where ISRO and France’s CNES utilised Ariane launch vehicles for satellite launches. The 2007 Maitri Missile Project aimed to enhance India’s missile technology through joint development efforts.
In the realm of nuclear energy, France’s EDF played a role in constructing the Jaitapur Nuclear Power Project in Maharashtra, symbolising robust cooperation.
The Space Cooperation for India’s Mars Orbiter Mission (Mangalyaan) showcased France’s support through crucial component supply, highlighting the deepening and diversified nature of the partnership.