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India, France Agree to Jointly Produce Defense Equipment

Sat 27 Jan 2024 | 04:24 PM
Israa Farhan

India and France have agreed to collaborate in the joint production of defense equipment, including helicopters and submarines, to supply the Indian armed forces and friendly nations.

The French government announced in a statement on Friday evening that this agreement was reached during the visit of French President Emmanuel Macron.

Macron met with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and attended an official banquet hosted by President Droupadi Mormo.

The statement indicated that Macron and Modi agreed to strengthen bilateral relations in the fields of defense production, nuclear energy, space research, and the use of artificial intelligence in various sectors, such as climate change, health, and agriculture, according to Reuters news agency.

Macron also stated that France would create conditions to attract up to 30,000 Indian students annually for higher education in France.

France, after Russia, is the largest supplier of weapons to India, which has relied on French fighter jets for four decades.

The statement mentioned an agreement to establish maintenance, repair, and overhaul services in India for advanced French aero engines by Safran, the French propulsion systems company.

The Indian Foreign Minister, Vinay Kwatra, stated that the Indian Tata Group and the French company Airbus had signed an agreement to manufacture civilian helicopters together.

The Indian statement also outlined that India and France agreed to enhance cooperation in the southwestern Indian Ocean based on joint surveillance missions conducted from the French island of La Réunion.

The bilateral summit during Macron's 40-hour visit marked the fifth meeting between Macron and Modi since May 2023.