France has agreed to jointly build aircraft engine in collaboration with India, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said on Saturday.
The government, he asserted, was committed to increasing the budget outlay for defence procurement from Indian industry. He believed that the Indian defence and aerospace manufacturing market, which was ₹85,000 crore now, would increase to ₹1 lakh crore in 2022 and ₹5 lakh crore by 2047.
“Yesterday, French Defence Minister agreed to build the engine with us, so far not made in India. A major French company will come to India and make the engine in strategic partnership with an Indian company,” Mr. Singh stated at the 94th Annual General Body Meeting of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry. However, he did not give details of the proposed engine development.
‘Talks on with Safran’
A defence official observed that discussions have been on with Safran of France to develop the engine for the Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA) and this was the same engine.
The government recently informed Parliament that it has proposed to develop indigenous engines for powering aircraft such as the LCA variants and the AMCA in association with an International Engine House. The Defence Research and Development Organisation had been in talks with leading engine manufacturers.
On efforts to boost domestic defence industry, he clarified that in this decade, they would increase the items under the Positive list for Indigenisation from current 209 to over 1000. Inviting global companies to invest in the Indian defence and aerospace sectors, he said, “Come Make in India, come make for India, come make for the world.”
Highlighting the initiatives taken to increase the private sector participation and global companies, he remarked, “The Indian defence industry has realised that the opportune time has come for its take-off to higher trajectories. The corporatisation of the OFB is probably the biggest reform in defence production sector since Independence.”
Due to India’s ‘stature’ and its geographical location as well as the kind of security challenges it faces, “we cannot depend on other countries for our defence technologies”, he added.