Def Min’s France visit to improve bilateral cooperation

Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh met with the President of France, Emmanuel Macron, in France to discuss bilateral defence cooperation and strengthening ties between the two countries

October 9, 2019

Rafale handing over ceremony was held in Merignac, France took place on ‘87th Indian Air Force Day’; described as a historic and landmark day for IAF

Many IAF officers and airmen are being trained in France for flying, maintenance support, and logistics for handling Rafale fighter aircraft

Raksha Mantri called upon French companies for collaboration on modernising India’s shipyards and defence platforms with technology and investment

India has opened up defence sector manufacturing under ‘Make in India’ initiative to improve the ease of doing business, investments, and export potential

Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh, during his recent official visit to France, discussed the key aspects of bilateral defence cooperation as well as the strategy for strengthening overall ties in the future. The visit, over October 8-9, also saw  the defence minister meet the President of the French Republic, Emmanuel Macron.

During his visit, Raksha Mantri also participated in the Rafale fighter aircraft handing over ceremony at Merignac in Bordeaux along with French Minister of Armed Forces, Ms Florence Parly. Addressing the gathering, he explained how the new Rafale Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) will strengthen India’s air capabilities and help ensure peace and security in the region. Coinciding with the 87th Indian Air Force Day’, the historical and landmark Ceremony was attended by Dassault Aviation Chief Executive Officer, Eric Trappier.

In September 2016, an Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) was signed between the Governments of India and France for the procurement of 36 Rafale aircrafts. Following this, the Rafale Project Monitoring Team (PMT) from India was established in France in August 2017, and has been ensuring the smooth implementation of the project. Currently, a large number of India Air Force officers and airmen in France receive training for flying, maintenance support, and logistics in handling the Rafale fighter aircraft.

Addressing the leaders of the French defence industry, Raksha Mantri stated that India and France intend to strengthen their defence industrial partnership. He also called upon French companies to collaborate on modernising India’s shipping and defence sectors. Government of India has been steadily expanding defence manufacturing opportunities through its ‘Make in India’ initiative. 

By making India a base for defence equipment production, the partnership can benefit from economic reforms that have improved the ease of doing business, encouraged investment, and created export opportunities. Raksha Mantri also expressed confidence that strong cooperation between India and France will continue to grow, thereby contributing to global peace, prosperity, and environmental sustainability.