India, France to co-produce 3 Scorpene submarines, next-gen fighter jet engines

India and France are set to co-produce three more submarines besides new engines for next-generation fighters jets and helicopters.

An announcement to this effect was made after a meeting of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Emmanuel Macron on Friday in Paris. 

While the Scorpene submarines will be developed at the Mumbai-based Mazagon Docks, the tie-up for the engines will be with Safran for joint development and co-production of next-generation engines for fighter jets and an engine for a 13-tonne helicopter.

“India and France will support joint development of a combat aircraft engine. A roadmap for this project will be prepared by Safran and the DRDO before the end of this year,” an MEA document said.

According to the sources, Safran had offered to make a new 110-kilo Newton engine in India. The sixth-generation advanced multi-role combat aircraft will be powered by it. The French offer consists of a new engine with supply chain and manufacturing at an Indian location.

Shareholders’ agreement between HAL and Safran has been concluded for engine development. This is for the Indian Multi-Role Helicopter, a 13-tonne copter, official added. 

Earlier, the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) in India had approved three proposals on July 13, 2023.

The DAC granted Acceptance of Necessity (AoN) for procurement of 26 Rafale Marine aircraft along with associated ancillary equipment, weapons, simulator, spares, documentation, crew training and logistic support for the Indian Navy from the French Government based on Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA). 

The defence ministry said that the price and other terms of purchase will be negotiated. With the French Government after taking into account all relevant aspects, including. Comparative procurement price of similar aircraft by other countries.

Further, integration of Indian designed equipment and establishment of Maintenance, Repair. And Operations (MRO) Hub for various systems will be incorporated into the contract documents after due negotiations.

The DAC also granted the AoN for procurement of three additional Scorpene. Submarines under Buy (Indian) category which will be constructed by Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL).

The procurement of additional submarines, with higher indigenous content, will not only help in maintaining required force level and operational readiness of the Indian Navy, but also create significant employment opportunities in the domestic sector.

It will also help the MDL in further enhancing its capability and. Expertise in submarine construction, the defence ministry official added.

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