India and France to enhance defence industrial Cooperation

New Delhi: India and France will focus on enhancing defence industrial cooperation between the two nations, the Defence Ministry said on Thursday.

A decision to this effect was taken on October 11 in Paris during Defence Minister Rajnath Singh’s 5th Annual Defence Dialogue with French Minister of Armed Forces Sebastien Lecornu.

The two nations discussed potential collaboration in niche domains such as space, cyber and Artificial Intelligence.

The discussion took place late on Wednesday before Rajnath Singh concluded his two-nation Europe tour. The two Ministers discussed a wide range of topics from the assessment of regional situations to the ongoing military-to-military engagements, with a focus on enhancing defence industrial cooperation, the ministry added.

In addition to reviewing the ongoing defence projects, the two leaders discussed ways to deepen the collaboration between the defence industries of both the countries.

The meeting was preceded by a Guard of Honour at the French Ministry of Defence.

Earlier in the day, Minister Singh visited the Safran Engine Division’s research and development centre at Gennevilliers near Paris and witnessed the latest developments in aero-engine technology.

He also met with the CEOs of the top French defence companies with a focus on their plans for collaboration with India during which the minister highlighted the advantages of co-development and co-production in India, including possibilities of exports to third countries.

The Defence Minister underlined the inherent advantages of the Indian market such as a large, skilled HR base, world-class infrastructure and a strong legal architecture.

Following his arrival in Paris on October 10, 2023, the minister interacted with the Indian community there. In the first leg of his two-nation tour, Rajnath Singh held talks with Italian Defence Minister Guido Crosetto in Rome.

An Agreement on Cooperation in the field of defence was signed after the talks to promote bilateral collaboration in varied defence domains, such as security and defence policy, R and.D, education in military field, maritime domain awareness, sharing of defence information and industrial cooperation, including co-development, co-production and setting up of joint ventures.

He also met with the CEOs and other top industry leaders of Italian defence companies in Rome, as part of his visit, officials added.

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