FROM THE EDITOR’S DESK
That France has always stood by India and provided moral support on crucial moments when India faced international isolation, especially in the aftermath of the 1998 Pokharan nuclear explosion and supplied crucial timely assistance during the Kargil conflict with Pakistan is testimony to the long-standing strong relationship between the two countries. These ties are getting deepened and the first defence ministerial visit under the Macron Presidency has prepared the ground for the forthcoming first visit to India of the French President later this year.
The French Minister for the Armed Forces, Florency Parly had a series of discussions with the Prime Minister, Defence Minister and other senior defence officials to further widen the cooperation in production of various armaments in India. In his analysis of the Indo-French relations, Ranjit Kumar writes that the joint venture between Dassault Aviation and Anil Ambani-led Reliance Group is a classic example of cooperation. The joint venture — Dassault Reliance Aerospace Limited (DRAL) — is a 100 million Euro project in Mihan near Nagpur and will manufacture components for the Legacy Falcon 2000 series of business jets manufactured by Dassault Aviation and will become part of the French major’s global supply chain. The Dassault investment marked the largest commitment in foreign direct in one location in the defence sector.
Similarly, the ties with the United States is on the rise. With India-US economic relations deepening to the level of over $100 billion and as both the countries aim to expand this trade to the level of $500 billion within next five years, the two countries are on a strong wicket to further deepen bilateral defence and strategic partnerships. The road laid by previous Obama administration, was further cemented during the visit of the US Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson.
The Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is on her best in the job egging the armed forces to continue giving their best. After the commission of INS Kiltan she said the Navy’s relentless pursuit of self-reliance through indigenisation is highly appreciable and this has helped the Indian Navy to seamlessly transform from a Buyer’s to a Builder’s Navy.
Rear Admiral Sushil Ramsay (Retd) reports that in consonance with the ongoing momentum Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), chaired by Defence Minister on October 30, 2017, has accorded Acceptance of Necessity (AoN) for the procurement of 111 NUH worth ` 21,738 crore ($3.2 billion). Indian Navy has been making its proposals under the Strategic Partnership model to give a major boost to indigenous defence manufacturing capabilities in the country, especially in the Naval Aviation segment.
Meanwhile, the Indian Air Force displayed versatility and capability of IAF platforms by landing aircraft on the Agra-Lucknow Expressway. Complimenting the IAF, Air Chief Marshal Fali H. Major (Retd) said the spectacular display by the IAF not only enthralled all Indians, but also sent out a very clear message of IAF’s capabilities and combat edge.
In this issue, we have a curtain raiser by Bikram Vohra on the 15th exhibition of Dubai air show, to be held from November 12 to 16 at the Dubai World Central, which will have more than 1,200 exhibitors — including 100 taking part for the first time — and over 160 aircraft on display.
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