India France Defense Cooperation

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This page provides detail information on India France Defense Cooperation. The page also focuses on the current development of defense cooperation of India and France.

India France Defense Cooperation dates back to the early years of India's independence but this relation was restricted to the relation of a buyer and seller. France sold military hardwares to India since they are natural ally. In 1998, the strategic partnership took India France Defense Cooperation further. Both countries have been continuously working for better real multi-level cooperation. The results and successes of the India and France defense cooperation has been exemplary.

India France Defense Cooperation agreements promote bilateral strategic ties in fields like -
  • Defense strategies,
  • Defense R&D,
  • Production of weapon systems and capabilities.
  • Procurement of weapon systems and capabilities.
  • Joint military exercises.
  • Transfer of sophisticated armament technology.
  • Counter mechanism to thwart international terrorism.
  • Sharing of military expertise.
  • Sharing of military hardware expertise.
  • Joint development of value-added military technologies and hardwares.
The growing mutual trust amongst India and France has further deepened bilateral defense cooperation. This has facilitated India to share France's knowledge on defense expertise, experience and technology. India is in need to improve its defense arsenal by procuring modern military equipments, hardwares and know-how, which can be sourced from France. And simultaneously, France also needs to share its modern military arsenal and expertise and know-how for earning extra revenue for the country and also to project its enhanced supremacy to the world.

India France Defense Cooperation can further cement harder if France can bag the gigantic defense deal of India amounting to $ 6.5-billion. The contract essentially narrates requirements for - 126 multi-role combat aircraft to the Indian Air Force. The Ministry of Defense, Government of India proposes to issue a global request for proposal (RFP) for this Indian defense deal, which proposes to induct 15-20 jets into IAF and the rest to be manufactured under license in India. Incidentally, France is eager to sell its multi-role Rafale fighter to India. The multi-role Rafale fighter is at present serving the French Air Force and Navy and its technology is in sync with the Mirage-2000-V jets which was the original choice of the IAF. The American made F-16 and F\A-18 fighters, Swedish made JAS-39 Gripen and the Russian made MiG-29M2 fighters are the close competitor of French made multi-role Rafale fighter. India France Defense Cooperation appreciates each other as a pole of power in an increasingly multi-polar world. French defense sells to India will face stiff competition because -
  • Its defense products are very expensive,
  • Equivalent defense products are on offer from US and Russia,
  • The growing Indo-US strategic military partnership,
  • India- Russia defense agreement extension till 2010,
  • Israel - India growing military business,
  • Indigenous development state of the art defense production capabilities in India for -

    • Avionics,
    • Combat aircrafts,
    • Combat helicopters,
    • Battle tanks.
The political leaders of both the countries India and France have now realized the importance of forging strong defense ties with each other for mutual benefits. Earlier in 1998, India France Defense Cooperation identified 52 areas of technological expertise for mutual sharing and further development. Some of the key areas are -
  • Co-production of engines,
  • Co production of diesel or electric submarines.
The French political leadership is keen to forge deep rooted defense cooperation with India as India's economic prowess is growing. The new widespread consensus in the international arena is that France should take much more initiatives for deepening its defense cooperation with rising India.