FROM THE ED­I­TOR’S DESK

SP's MAI - - FRONT PAGE - Jayant Baran­wal Pub­lisher & Ed­i­tor-in-Chief

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.

Happy read­ing !

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