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India pitches with France to become Rafale maintenance hub

Source : WION

India pitches with France to become Rafale maintenance hub
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India has pitched with France to become a hub for maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) for Rafale fighter jets. This comes even as last month Indonesia entered into a deal with France to buy 42 Rafale Jets and UAE signed a deal to buy 80 of the fighter jets In December 2021.

India had signed a deal with France in 2016 to get 36 Rafale jets, of which 33 have been delivered. This makes  countries in the region have these France made fighter jets. The Indian proposal comes amid the government’s Atmanirbhar Bharat policy under which local manufacturing of defense equipment has been the focus. During the visit of French Defence Minister Florence Parly, both sides had discussed joint manufacture of aero engines in India.

At an event of an Industry chamber, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh had announced that ”a big French company will manufacture an engine in India…in collaboration with an Indian company”.

India and France have a robust defense relationship, from annual ministerial-level defence dialogue to regular defense exercises of the three services.  The Indian Navy also participated in the French-led La PĂ©rouse exercise, along with other Quad members from 5 to 7 April 2021.

And not just for French Rafales, India is focusing on Jewar-Noida International Airport to be a large MRO hub. Indian Prime Minister Naredra Modi had laid the foundation of the airport in a grand ceremony in November 2021. It is touted to become India’s largest airport.

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