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India, France discuss progress on Rafale fighter jets

Agree to strengthen military ties through collaboration in defence technology

BS Reporter  |  New Delhi 

The ministers of and on Friday discussed the progress on the $15-billion deal under which would be buying 126 medium-range, multi- role combat aircrafts (MMRCA) for the Indian Air Force.

“The ministers had detailed discussions regarding current and future cooperation in the areas of equipment and technology collaboration. They agreed such cooperation should continue to the mutual benefit of both countries, including in high technology areas involving joint research and development and transfer of technology,” stated a joint statement issued after the meeting between Union Minister and his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian, who is on a two-day visit to


ALSO READ: French defence minister in India to push for $15 bn Rafale deal

Both have also agreed to strengthen military ties further through greater collaboration in equipment and technology.  Ever since agreed to buy the warplanes from France, it has been engaged in price negotiations, which have become a sticking point in the deal.  Besides, both sides have become very cautious in their approach recently in the backdrop of the controversies surrounding another such big-ticket deal concerning the purchase of Augusta-Westland choppers.   

French firm Dassault Aviation had won the $15 billion contract to sell 126 French MMRCA to the Indian Air Force in January 2012. The plan is to import 18 of the fighter jets from Dassault directly while the remaining 108 would be manufactured in Bangalore by Hindustan Aeronatics Limited (HAL). Later, during a lecture on Indo-French Partnership at the Institute for Studies and Analyses on Friday, Le Drian said, “Of course, the MMRCA project is the priority. At the risk of disappointing you, I won’t be announcing the date of signing the contract. I would like you to know the negotiations are going on well and I have full confidence.  There would be a framework Indo-French intergovernmental Agreement for this contract, which would provide all the necessary guarantees of the French State.”

He added would “not regret” selecting the jets which have proved their merits in Afghanistan, Libya and Mali.

Le Drian told a French newspaper the first batch of would be delivered to by 2016-2017.

Last month, on the sidelines of the Paris Air Show, senior officials from HAL and Dassualt met to discuss the final contours of the agreement. The two sides are also engaged in negotiations for a project for co-developing the ‘Maitri’ surface-to-air missile system.  has awarded several big-ticket contracts to the French, including the deal for building six Scorpene diesel-electric submarines for the Indian navy.

Le Drian said the first Scorpene submarine would be launched in 2014. French naval firms are currently building the six submarines at the Mazagaon shipyard in Mumbai, with complete transfer of technology.    

ALSO READ: India, France to hold finmin level talks to boost trade

The two countries welcomed the upcoming bilateral exercise 'Shakti' in September 2013 in between both armies. 

“The ministers noted with satisfaction that the navies of both countries are working towards finalising the schedule for the conduct of  Exercise 'Varuna' off the coast of and also that the next air force exercise 'Garuda' would be held during the first half of 2014,” the statement.

Both ministers also assigned the High Committee on Cooperation, which is scheduled to meet in in October this year, to follow up and finalise practical measures to expand and deepen the bilateral partnership in   Le Drian, who had earlier visited as part of President Hollande’s entourage, is scheduled to visit the Air Force base in Gwalior on Saturday for a briefing on the Indian Mirage 2000 squadrons and interaction with pilots, officers and technicians who fly and maintain the fleet.

“French manufacturers are currently working on upgrading the Mirage 2000 fleet that acquired in 1980. At the end of this upgrade, the aircraft would match the most modern standards and continue to be in service for many more years,” the French minister stated.

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India, France discuss progress on Rafale fighter jets

Agree to strengthen military ties through collaboration in defence technology

Agree to strengthen military ties through collaboration in defence technology
The ministers of and on Friday discussed the progress on the $15-billion deal under which would be buying 126 medium-range, multi- role combat aircrafts (MMRCA) for the Indian Air Force.

“The ministers had detailed discussions regarding current and future cooperation in the areas of equipment and technology collaboration. They agreed such cooperation should continue to the mutual benefit of both countries, including in high technology areas involving joint research and development and transfer of technology,” stated a joint statement issued after the meeting between Union Minister and his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian, who is on a two-day visit to

ALSO READ: French defence minister in India to push for $15 bn Rafale deal

Both have also agreed to strengthen military ties further through greater collaboration in equipment and technology.  Ever since agreed to buy the warplanes from France, it has been engaged in price negotiations, which have become a sticking point in the deal.  Besides, both sides have become very cautious in their approach recently in the backdrop of the controversies surrounding another such big-ticket deal concerning the purchase of Augusta-Westland choppers.   

French firm Dassault Aviation had won the $15 billion contract to sell 126 French MMRCA to the Indian Air Force in January 2012. The plan is to import 18 of the fighter jets from Dassault directly while the remaining 108 would be manufactured in Bangalore by Hindustan Aeronatics Limited (HAL). Later, during a lecture on Indo-French Partnership at the Institute for Studies and Analyses on Friday, Le Drian said, “Of course, the MMRCA project is the priority. At the risk of disappointing you, I won’t be announcing the date of signing the contract. I would like you to know the negotiations are going on well and I have full confidence.  There would be a framework Indo-French intergovernmental Agreement for this contract, which would provide all the necessary guarantees of the French State.”

He added would “not regret” selecting the jets which have proved their merits in Afghanistan, Libya and Mali.

Le Drian told a French newspaper the first batch of would be delivered to by 2016-2017.

Last month, on the sidelines of the Paris Air Show, senior officials from HAL and Dassualt met to discuss the final contours of the agreement. The two sides are also engaged in negotiations for a project for co-developing the ‘Maitri’ surface-to-air missile system.  has awarded several big-ticket contracts to the French, including the deal for building six Scorpene diesel-electric submarines for the Indian navy.

Le Drian said the first Scorpene submarine would be launched in 2014. French naval firms are currently building the six submarines at the Mazagaon shipyard in Mumbai, with complete transfer of technology.    

ALSO READ: India, France to hold finmin level talks to boost trade

The two countries welcomed the upcoming bilateral exercise 'Shakti' in September 2013 in between both armies. 

“The ministers noted with satisfaction that the navies of both countries are working towards finalising the schedule for the conduct of  Exercise 'Varuna' off the coast of and also that the next air force exercise 'Garuda' would be held during the first half of 2014,” the statement.

Both ministers also assigned the High Committee on Cooperation, which is scheduled to meet in in October this year, to follow up and finalise practical measures to expand and deepen the bilateral partnership in   Le Drian, who had earlier visited as part of President Hollande’s entourage, is scheduled to visit the Air Force base in Gwalior on Saturday for a briefing on the Indian Mirage 2000 squadrons and interaction with pilots, officers and technicians who fly and maintain the fleet.

“French manufacturers are currently working on upgrading the Mirage 2000 fleet that acquired in 1980. At the end of this upgrade, the aircraft would match the most modern standards and continue to be in service for many more years,” the French minister stated.
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Business Standard
177 22

India, France discuss progress on Rafale fighter jets

Agree to strengthen military ties through collaboration in defence technology

The ministers of and on Friday discussed the progress on the $15-billion deal under which would be buying 126 medium-range, multi- role combat aircrafts (MMRCA) for the Indian Air Force.

“The ministers had detailed discussions regarding current and future cooperation in the areas of equipment and technology collaboration. They agreed such cooperation should continue to the mutual benefit of both countries, including in high technology areas involving joint research and development and transfer of technology,” stated a joint statement issued after the meeting between Union Minister and his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian, who is on a two-day visit to

ALSO READ: French defence minister in India to push for $15 bn Rafale deal

Both have also agreed to strengthen military ties further through greater collaboration in equipment and technology.  Ever since agreed to buy the warplanes from France, it has been engaged in price negotiations, which have become a sticking point in the deal.  Besides, both sides have become very cautious in their approach recently in the backdrop of the controversies surrounding another such big-ticket deal concerning the purchase of Augusta-Westland choppers.   

French firm Dassault Aviation had won the $15 billion contract to sell 126 French MMRCA to the Indian Air Force in January 2012. The plan is to import 18 of the fighter jets from Dassault directly while the remaining 108 would be manufactured in Bangalore by Hindustan Aeronatics Limited (HAL). Later, during a lecture on Indo-French Partnership at the Institute for Studies and Analyses on Friday, Le Drian said, “Of course, the MMRCA project is the priority. At the risk of disappointing you, I won’t be announcing the date of signing the contract. I would like you to know the negotiations are going on well and I have full confidence.  There would be a framework Indo-French intergovernmental Agreement for this contract, which would provide all the necessary guarantees of the French State.”

He added would “not regret” selecting the jets which have proved their merits in Afghanistan, Libya and Mali.

Le Drian told a French newspaper the first batch of would be delivered to by 2016-2017.

Last month, on the sidelines of the Paris Air Show, senior officials from HAL and Dassualt met to discuss the final contours of the agreement. The two sides are also engaged in negotiations for a project for co-developing the ‘Maitri’ surface-to-air missile system.  has awarded several big-ticket contracts to the French, including the deal for building six Scorpene diesel-electric submarines for the Indian navy.

Le Drian said the first Scorpene submarine would be launched in 2014. French naval firms are currently building the six submarines at the Mazagaon shipyard in Mumbai, with complete transfer of technology.    

ALSO READ: India, France to hold finmin level talks to boost trade

The two countries welcomed the upcoming bilateral exercise 'Shakti' in September 2013 in between both armies. 

“The ministers noted with satisfaction that the navies of both countries are working towards finalising the schedule for the conduct of  Exercise 'Varuna' off the coast of and also that the next air force exercise 'Garuda' would be held during the first half of 2014,” the statement.

Both ministers also assigned the High Committee on Cooperation, which is scheduled to meet in in October this year, to follow up and finalise practical measures to expand and deepen the bilateral partnership in   Le Drian, who had earlier visited as part of President Hollande’s entourage, is scheduled to visit the Air Force base in Gwalior on Saturday for a briefing on the Indian Mirage 2000 squadrons and interaction with pilots, officers and technicians who fly and maintain the fleet.

“French manufacturers are currently working on upgrading the Mirage 2000 fleet that acquired in 1980. At the end of this upgrade, the aircraft would match the most modern standards and continue to be in service for many more years,” the French minister stated.

image
Business Standard
177 22