PM Modi and Macron Reveal Blueprint for Defense Production and Space Collaboration

During French President Emmanuel Macron’s visit to New Delhi, both nations finalized several agreements. These included a defense industrial roadmap facilitating joint development and manufacturing of advanced military equipment, along with a pact for defense space cooperation. Additionally, Tata and Airbus agreed to jointly produce civil helicopters. However, no announcements were made regarding the proposed deals for Rafale fighter jets or Scorpene submarines currently under negotiation. Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra emphasized the roadmap’s focus on fostering partnership in the defense-industrial sector, prioritizing co-designing, co-development, and co-production to strengthen defense supply chains between the two countries. He also highlighted plans to celebrate 2026 as the ‘India-France Year of Innovation.’ Furthermore, partnerships between Tata and Airbus helicopters and between New Space India Limited (NSIL) and Arianespace for satellite launches were confirmed.

Safran, the world’s second-largest aircraft equipment manufacturer, has expressed readiness for complete technology transfer in the proposed Safran-India Shakti jet engine deal, according to Indian envoy to France, Jawed Ashraf.

During the bilateral meeting in Jaipur, several agreements were reached, including the India-France defence industrial roadmap, a defense-space partnership agreement, and an MoU between New Space India Limited (NSIL) and Arianespace for satellite launches. Additionally, an industrial partnership between Tata and Airbus helicopters for the production of H125 helicopters with significant indigenous components has been finalized.

Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra highlighted that the defense roadmap would encompass air, space, and maritime technologies, including underwater domain awareness. He emphasized the importance of harnessing the compatibilities and competencies of both economies to strengthen defense cooperation.

While discussions about Rafale Marine fighter jets and Scorpene submarines are ongoing, no progress updates were provided during the meeting. Kwatra emphasized that such visits prioritize overall defense and security cooperation rather than focusing solely on individual transactions.

Furthermore, both leaders addressed concerns about disruptions in the Red Sea, particularly the targeting of commercial vessels by the Houthis, highlighting the importance of maritime security in the region.