India and France on Monday mentioned methods to deepen their bilateral navy ties with a concentrate on defence industrial cooperation pivoting on the Make in India initiative, growing the scope and complexity of workouts between their armed forces, and boosting maritime cooperation within the Indo-Pacific, officers conversant in the matter stated

The 4th India-France Annual Defence Dialogue between defence minister Rajnath Singh and his French counterpart Sebastien Lecornu was held on Monday.

A variety of bilateral, regional, defence and defence-industrial cooperation points have been mentioned, and the ministers reviewed the continuing military-to-military cooperation which has gone up considerably within the latest years, the defence ministry stated in a press release.

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“Had heat and fruitful discussions with the Defence Minister of France, Mr Sebastien Lecornu in the course of the fourth India-France Annual Defence Dialogue in New Delhi at the moment. A variety of bilateral, regional & defence industrial cooperation points have been mentioned in the course of the dialogue,” Singh wrote on Twitter.

Strengthening maritime cooperation was one of many details on the agenda, the officers stated.

The Indo-Pacific area is of significance to each India and France who’ve made repeated requires a free, open and rules-based order within the area amid China’s assertive behaviour within the disputed South China sea. France has been more and more strengthening its strategic partnerships within the Indo-Pacific area — the nation is current within the area by way of its abroad territories, and 93% of its unique financial zone is positioned within the Indian and Pacific Oceans.

“The ministers recognised their convergence on a variety of strategic and defence points and shared the dedication to work collectively on enhancing cooperation in bilateral, regional and multilateral fora, with a concentrate on the Indo-Pacific area,” the ministry stated.

One other key space mentioned was defence industrial cooperation with a concentrate on the federal government’s Make in India initiative geared toward strengthening the nation’s defence manufacturing sector, chopping down import of navy {hardware}, and tapping arms export alternatives globally.

“Future collaborations and potential co-production alternatives have been mentioned. The ministers agreed that the technical teams from each nations ought to meet early subsequent yr and take the important thing cooperation points ahead,” the assertion stated.

Rising military-to-military cooperation by increasing the scope of bilateral workouts additionally got here up in the course of the dialogue. In April 2021, the navies of the Quad grouping —India, the USA, Japan and Australia — carried out complicated maritime drills within the jap Indian Ocean Area as a part of French Navy-led train known as “La Pérouse” for the primary time.

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Additionally, in early November, the chiefs of the air forces of India and France flew fighter planes operated by one another throughout “Train Garuda VII” between the Indian Air Pressure (IAF) and French Air and House Pressure (FASF) in Rajasthan, with the drills geared toward enhancing the interoperability between the 2 sides.

Lecornu had on Sunday visited the Kochi-based Southern Naval Command and in addition India’s first indigenous plane service INS Vikrant. India plans to purchase 26 new fighters for Vikrant by way of a government-to-government deal to fulfill the navy’s necessities, with US agency Boeing’s F/A-18 Tremendous Hornet competing in opposition to French plane maker Dassault Aviation’s Rafale-M for the order.

France is one in every of India’s most trusted strategic companions, and each nations stay up for celebrating 25 years of their strategic partnership in 2023, the assertion added.

The ministers agreed to strengthen defence cooperation in all areas “essential for strategic autonomy and tackling our widespread challenges,” Emmanuel Lenain, the French ambassador to India, stated on Twitter.



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