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France and India Agree to Jointly Build Aircraft Engine

India’s Defense Minister Rajnath Singh said on Saturday that France will build an aircraft engine in collaboration with India.

“[The] French Defence Minister [has] agreed to build the engine with us, so far not made in India. A major French company will come to India and make the engine in strategic partnership with an Indian company,” a report in The Hindu quoted Singh as saying. The minister fell short of giving out details of the proposed development.

The strategic partnership involves co-production by the original equipment manufacturer and an Indian company.

Singh’s announcement comes a day after he held an annual defense dialogue with his French counterpart Florence Parly in New Delhi. The defense minister pushed French defense firms to either collaborate with Indian companies or produce in India.

New Engine for Helicopter

Meanwhile, after Singh’s announcement, it is believed that French defense company Safran and India’s state-run Hindustan Aeronautics Limited are in talks to jointly manufacture a new engine to power India’s plans for its own medium-weight military helicopters.

The engines will be manufactured to power different types of medium-weight helicopters to meet the demand of the Indian Air Force, Navy, and Army.

In 2016, in a major defense deal with France, New Delhi signed an Indian rupee 59,000 crore ($9.4 billion) deal for 36 Rafale fighter jets. So far, France has delivered 33 of the aircraft.

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