NEW DELHI: France has agreed to manufacture defence-related engines in India as part of indigenisation of the military system and equipment. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said on Saturday, December 18, 2021, that France has agreed to make an ‘engine’ in India in collaboration with an Indian firm under strategic partnership.
Speaking at the FICCI Annual General Meeting, Rajnath Said, “Yesterday, the French defence minister agreed to the indigenous manufacturing of an engine, which is not being made in India, in collaboration with an Indian company under strategic partnership.”
The strategic partnership involves co-production by the original equipment manufacturer and an Indian company approved by the Ministry of Defence. It is aimed at creating a defence industrial ecosystem.
Engine manufacturing involves complex metallurgy and is acknowledged as the weakest link in India’s ‘Make in India’ drive. India’s Kaveri engine programme has been hitting roadblocks.
Rajnath’s remark comes a day after he held the third India-France annual defence dialogue with his French counterpart Florence Parly in the national capital. It was in 2019 that Rajnath had visited the France-based engine-maker Safran Aircraft Engines. The company designs and manufactures engines for commercial and military aircraft.
“India can’t be dependent on foreign technologies especially after the kind of security challenges we have faced. I need not mention what kind of challenges India has faced,” said Rajnath. Stressing self-reliance, he said, “We have conveyed to friendly countries that keeping India’s national security challenges in mind, we want to manufacture defence products, weapons and ammunition in India.” Rajnath said.
“We have conveyed it to the US and Russia as well. Yesterday, I informed the French defence ministers too,” said Rajnath. These countries are the primary equipment supplies to the Indian armed forces. “We have been urging all countries to come and make in India, come and make for the world. The world understands these things. I have received a positive response,” said the defence minister.
Agni P tested successfully
The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) on Saturday carried out a second test of the new generation nuclear-capable ballistic missile ‘Agni P’ from Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Island off Odisha coast. The Ministry of Defence (MoD) in a statement said the test was successful. “Various telemetry, radar and electro-optical stations and down-range ships positioned monitored the missile trajectory and parameters. The missile followed textbook trajectory,” said the statement. The Agni P is a two-stage canisterised solid propellant ballistic missile with dual redundant navigation and guidance system. The first test was carried out in June this year. The missile is an advanced variant of the Agni class with range capability between 1,000 and 2,000 km.