France agrees to make military engine in India

France has agreed to make a military engine in India under the strategic partnership model, defence minister Rajnath Singh said, underscoring the government’s push for co-development in arms acquisition rather than direct imports.

Highlighting recent visits by his counterparts from the US, Russia and France, Singh said he has been conveying at the top level that manufacturing defence equipment in India is a high priority for security.

Singh said the size of the Indian defence industry would be in excess of ₹5 lakh crore by 2047.

“I am happy to say that the French defence minister has agreed that for an engine that is not being made in India, a big French company will come here and will make it in India under the strategic partnership model,” the minister said, addressing the annual general meeting of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (Ficci) on Saturday.


He also mentioned the recent deal with Russia to manufacture more than 600,000 AK-203 assault rifles in Amethi, inviting every country to “make in India, make for India and make for the world.” He said, “Countries across the world have friendly relations with us, and we have told them we wish to manufacture defence equipment in India as national security is our top priority.”

The minister did not specify which military engine was discussed during the meeting with the French side, but India has been in talks to acquire a future fighter jet engine for its Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft under a joint development model. As reported by ET, French company Safran has been in advanced talks for a technology transfer-based partnership that could also leverage offsets from the Rafale fighter jet deal.

French companies are also in discussions to share engine technology and production knowhow for the Indian Multi Role Helicopter project – to replace all imports of medium-lift helicopters in the next decade.

More Private Contribution

Expressing confidence in the private industry’s ability to deliver on India’s plans to be a net exporter of weapons, the defence minister said it already accounts for 95% of military exports and this is being encouraged by the government. “At present, India’s defence and aerospace manufacturing market is worth ₹85,000 crore,” said Singh. “I believe, in 2022, it will increase to ₹1 lakh crore. When I talk about India Beyond 75, I see the defence and aerospace manufacturing market in India to be ₹5 lakh crore by 2047.” The current contribution of private firms is ₹18,000 crore, expected to rise exponentially. “According to the current situation, the contribution of the private sector will be more than ₹1 lakh crore in the ₹5-lakh crore market of the future,” he said.

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