India and France have solidified an extensive industrial roadmap for the collaborative development of critical military hardware. The roadmap includes the joint production of H125 helicopters by Airbus SE and Tata Advanced Systems Ltd. During talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Emmanuel Macron, various agreements were reached, encompassing a defense space partnership, a scheme for professional exchange, and activation of Schengen visas with five-year validity for Indian post-graduate alumni.
The defense roadmap aims to identify opportunities for co-designing, co-developing, and co-producing military hardware, fostering defense supply chains. It emphasizes collaboration in air, space, underwater domain awareness, land warfare, robotics, cyber defense, artificial intelligence, autonomous vehicles, and platforms. The objective is not only to meet the defense needs of India and France but also to contribute to security partnerships with other nations.
Additionally, the two nations entered into agreements for cooperation in healthcare, education, training, research, and sustainable development. The year 2026 will be celebrated as the India-France year of innovation. The leaders discussed ongoing cooperation in the Indian Ocean Region and the Indo-Pacific, addressing concerns related to the Red Sea and conflicts in Gaza.
The defense and strategic ties between India and France have strengthened in recent years, and the comprehensive agreements underline their commitment to advancing cooperation in various domains.
(With Agency Inputs)