How has India-France relations helped Indian Army?

New Delhi:

The recent visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to France is considered very important and useful. The special thing is that after the recent visit of PM Modi to France, France has agreed to work closely with India under Make in India in the field of space and defense. 

PM Modi’s visit to France comes at a time when the US-India relationship has seen some distance during the Russia-Ukraine war. The US government has several times registered its deep objection to India’s policy in the matter of Russia and Ukraine war. 

In such a situation, experts are of the opinion that it became very important to balance India’s strategic strategy. Let us know what is the big meaning of this visit of PM Modi? What kind of military cooperation is there between India and France? How useful will this visit prove to be for India during the Russia-Ukraine war? Which major weapons of France have increased India’s strength? How has France been supporting India over the years?

1- India’s relations with France have been very close. In the year 1998, both these countries entered into an era of strategic partnership. France has long been an important defense partner of India. The latest example of this was the recent Rafale fighter plane deal between India and France. This defense deal had been in the news a lot. Apart from this, the Mirage fighter aircraft of France in the Indian Air Force has been the strength of the Indian Air Force for a long time.

2- France is an important defense partner of India. Although Russia is India’s largest defense partner and India buys most of its weapons from Russia, but during the last few years, India has also bought a large number of weapons from France. According to a report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, France was the second largest arms supplier to India after Russia during 2017-2021. India’s arms purchases from France have increased during 2016-2020.

3- According to this report, India’s arms supply from Russia has declined by 47 percent during 2017-2021, while India’s arms purchases from France have increased 10 times during this period. In the Indian Air Force, France has given the enemy’s heart-wrenching fighter aircraft from Mirage to Rafale. France has supplied many deadly weapons to India. The Indian Air Force’s fighter aircraft Miraj had soured Pakistan’s teeth in Kargil in 1999. China also trembles with Rafale’s feat and military capability.

4- He said that from a diplomatic point of view, garnering the support of European countries on the issue of Indo-Pacific is no less a big achievement for India. Germany, Britain and the European Union have also made their stand clear about the strategic partnership in the Indo-Pacific region that they are with India. He said that the Indo-Pacific region is very sensitive geographically and strategically. Other countries of the world including India are worried about the increasing interest of China in this vast territory. It has already built its military bases in the South China Sea. India’s concern has increased due to this.

Indian army strengthened with these weapons of France

1- In the year 2016, India had signed an agreement of about Rs 59 thousand crore for the purchase of 36 Rafale fighter planes from France. Till February 2022, India has got 35 Rafale. The Rafale is also manufactured by Dasa Aviation, the French company that makes Mirage. Rafale is one of the most modern fighter planes in the world, capable of carrying multiple lethal weapons and missiles. It has been deployed at Ambala Air Force Station, a strategically important for the Indian Army, which is close to both Pakistan and China in terms of distance. Rafale has a strike range of 3,700 km. Three types of missiles can be installed in it. 

Air-to-Air Meteor, Air-to-Surface Scalp and Hammer missiles. Rafale can reach a height of 300 meters in just one second as soon as it starts. Its rate of climb is even better than the modern fighter planes near China-Pakistan. Rafale is better than China’s most powerful fighter plane J20 and Pakistan’s F-16 in many respects. 

China’s J20 has no real combat experience, while the French Air Force has used Rafale in Afghanistan, Libya and Mali. At the same time, in the fight to dodge, Rafale can also defeat the Pakistani F-16 fighter plane made in America. Rafale can also be landed in a very small space on the mountain and can also be landed on a warship moving in the sea.

2- Mirage 2000 is one of the best and most dangerous fighter aircraft of the Indian Air Force. This aircraft has also been made by the French company Dasa Aviation. The Mirage was first inducted into the Indian Air Force in the year 1985. The Indian Air Force has named it Vajra. India had placed orders for the purchase of 36 single seater and 4 twin seater Mirage 2000 from France in 1982. India took this decision after Pakistan’s purchase of F-16 fighter jets from America. The number of Mirage fighters in the Indian Air Force had reached 50. The Mirage aircraft played a major role in the 1999 Kargil war. This plane destroyed many bunkers of the Pakistani army. In 2020, India also used Mirage in the air strikes targeting terrorists in Pakistan’s Balakot.

3- The Jaguar fighter jet is jointly made by the British Air Force and the French Air Force. Now the upgraded version of Jaguar is being used only by the Indian Air Force. The Jaguar has been the strength of the Indian Air Force in the 90s. He played an important role in many wars. The Jaguar is adept at both surveillance and bombing. Its ability to fly at extremely low altitudes, dodge radar and hit the target precisely makes it special. In the Indian Air Force it is known as Shamsher. The Jaguar is primarily used by the Indian Air Force as a ground attack aircraft. The Indian Air Force recently upgraded its entire Jaguar fleet by adding avionics support.

4- The Hammer missile of France is an air-to-surface missile, developed by the Saffran Group of France. The Hammer is a fire-and-forget missile and can hit multiple targets at the same time. It is capable of hitting both moving and stationary targets. With the Hammer missile integrated into Tejas, it will be capable of destroying ground targets and large bunkers at a range of up to 70 km. India has taken this step amid the recent border dispute with China. The Hammer missile can be used at low altitudes and in mountainous areas of the India-China border. The hammer can be fitted with a variety of bombs ranging from 125 kilograms to 1,000 kilograms. India has recently signed an agreement with France to buy Hammer missiles to be integrated into its Light Combat Aircraft Tejas. France has also given some Hammer missiles to India along with Rafale.

5- In 2005, India had signed an agreement of $ 3.75 billion with Naval Group of France to make Scorpene-class submarines, i.e. about 28.6 thousand crores. These submarines have been made indigenously by the public sector company Mazagon Post Shipbuilders in collaboration with France. The Scorpene-class submarines can perform a variety of combat missions. This submarine can be used for anti-surface, anti-submarine warfare, special operations, intelligence gathering, laying mines. Under this project, four submarines have joined the Indian Navy. INS Kalvari, INS Khanderi, INS Karanj and INS Vela and INS Vagir were launched in November 2020. Its trial is going on right now. It is expected to be inducted into the Navy by the end of 2022. The Scorpene-class submarines can perform a variety of combat missions. In April 2022, India has launched INS Vagsheer, the sixth and last submarine of the Scorpene class, which is expected to be inducted into the Indian Navy by 2024.


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