France is currently India's biggest European defense partner, which has recently supplied state of the art Dassault Rafale fighter jets to India. After the conclusion of the 1st day of Aero India 2021, the French envoy in New Delhi stated, ''Bengaluru air show is the first major defense and aerospace exhibition to be held, one year since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, and French companies have come in force.
Bengaluru air show is the first major defence and aerospace exhibition to be held, one year since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, and French companies have come in force: French Embassy in New Delhi— ANI (@ANI) February 3, 2021
With 28 exhibiting companies, France once again notches the strongest foreign representation at Aero India. This reaffirms the French industry’s keen interest in this event, despite the adverse global public health situation: French Embassy in New Delhi.
France has been a long-standing and reliable supplier of fighter planes and light utility helicopters to the Indian armed services with aircraft such as Breguet Alizé, Dassault Ouragan, Dassault Mystère IV, Sepecat Jaguar, Aerospatiale SA 315B Lama, Aérospatiale Alouette III, and Dassault Mirage 2000 and Dassault Rafale.
France also supplies Turbomeca TM 333 and jointly developed the HAL/Turbomeca Shakti helicopter engines for HAL Dhruv. DRDO 3D Multi-Function Control Radar (MFCR) was developed as part of the Indian anti-ballistic missile program in cooperation with THALES of France.
In addition to this, a French Defense Naval Group, DCNS, is building six Scorpène submarines of the Kalvari class for the Indian Navy, which will be armed with SM.39 Exocet anti-ship missiles, under a technology transfer agreement at Mazagon Docks in Mumbai.
According to defense sources, France also helped India in the Jaguar DARIN III upgrade. France has also offered Rafale F4 to the IAF and it is currently looking forward to bagging the deal of 114 MRFA jets with the IAF.