Re­liance, Das­sault strike de­fence part­ner­ship

The Myanmar Times - - Business -

INDIA’S Re­liance Group and France’s Das­sault have signed a lu­cra­tive de­fence part­ner­ship as part of a fighter jet deal agreed be­tween the two na­tions late last month.

India signed a con­tract to buy 36 Rafale fighter jets for 7.9 bil­lion eu­ros (US$8.8 bil­lion), France’s biggestever such sale, as the na­tion seeks to bol­ster its mil­i­tary in the face of China’s grow­ing clout.

Das­sault, which is build­ing the air­craft, agreed un­der the terms of the deal to in­vest about 50 per­cent of the value of the con­tract in India.

It has teamed with In­dian bil­lion­aire ty­coon Anil Am­bani’s Re­liance Group in a joint ven­ture called Das­sault Re­liance Aerospace to fo­cus on re­search and de­vel­op­ment of un­spec­i­fied de­fence projects in India.

The part­ner­ship “il­lus­trates our strong commitment to es­tab­lish our­selves in India”, Das­sault CEO Eric Trap­pier said in a joint statement.

How­ever, the com­pa­nies did not say how much of Das­sault’s es­ti­mated 300 bil­lion ru­pee ($4.5 bil­lion) re­quired in­vest­ment would be poured into the joint ven­ture.

India, the world’s top de­fence im­porter, is con­duct­ing a $100 bil­lion up­grade of its Soviet-era mil­i­tary hard­ware, fac­ing bor­der dis­putes with its neigh­bours, China and Pak­istan.

But Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi, who an­nounced that his gov­ern­ment had agreed to buy the jets while on a visit to Paris last year, has moved to re­duce India’s re­liance on ex­pen­sive im­ports and called for the man­u­fac­tur­ing of de­fence equip­ment lo­cally.

The gov­ern­ment has raised the limit on for­eign in­vest­ment in the de­fence sec­tor and en­cour­aged tie-ups be­tween for­eign and lo­cal com­pa­nies.

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