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From Choppers to Satellites: India, France Ink Key Security Deals

India has entered into an agreement with France to co-produce helicopters, satellites, and other defense hardware for their militaries.

The deal was struck during French President Emmanuel Macron‘s visit to New Delhi for India’s 75th Republic Day on January 26.

Among the key security pacts signed is the joint production of military helicopters to support combat and reconnaissance missions.

Airbus will also establish India’s first private-sector helicopter assembly line in partnership with Mumbai-based firm Tata.

In addition, French engine maker Safran is willing to transfer “100 percent technology” for building fighter jet engines in the South Asian country.

Defense Space Agreement

According to a report by Hindustan Times, India and France signed an ambitious Defense Space Agreement to develop military satellites with both offensive and defensive capabilities.

A letter of intent was inked by French Defense Minister Sebastien Locornu and India’s National Security Advisor Ajit Doval.

The collaboration’s aim is to enhance the two countries’ operational capabilities through better global situational awareness.

It would also help protect the national security interests of India and track advesaries’ movements. India has long been in fatal border disputes with neighbors Pakistan and China.

Apart from co-producing the satellites, the recently signed agreement will see Paris and New Delhi jointly launch the space assets into orbit.

France military satellite
(Representative image only.) France’s existing military satellite, the Syracuse 4B. Photo: Thales

‘No Limits’

During his visit, President Macron conveyed to Indian defense officials that French support for India in defense production will have “no limits.”

This means France will collaborate with New Delhi in designing, developing, producing, as well as securing certifications for the new platforms to be produced.

“India and France have decided to invest in a long-term relationship with the two countries on the same page politically on Houthis, and the Gaza war, with nuanced differences over the Ukraine war given that France is part of the EU,” a top official from India told Hindustan Times.

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