Dassault Aviation and Tata could come together to prepare future Franco-Indian cooperation

While the failure of the MRCA program in 2014 was largely linked to Dassault Aviation's obligation to collaborate with the state aircraft manufacturer HAL for the manufacture of 96 of the 114 Rafale B/C having to join the Indian Air Force, the decision of the French aeronautical group to turn to the Indian industrial group Reliance to create the industrial joint venture in order to execute the offsets linked to the acquisition of the 36 aircraft ordered by New Delhi in 2016 was roundly criticized by the press and the Indian opposition, and at the heart of suspicions of corruption having been leveled against the French aircraft manufacturer.

Although cleared of these accusations with strong electoral connotations for several years now, Dassault's choice of Reliance as a partner for its Indian industrial establishment remains a handicap to enable it to move forward.

While Emmanuel Macron and Narendra Modi announced, on the occasion of the latter's visit to Paris for the July 14 festivities and on the sidelines ofa next order of 26 Rafale M and three scorpene submarines for the Indian Navy, the intensification of Franco-Indian cooperation, in particular with the future design of a mysterious "air combat system", so it was necessary for Dassault to solve this problem.

It will be done soon, it seems. In effect, according to idrw.org, often well-informed and free from the frequent excesses of the Indian press, Dassault Aviation would have ended the joint venture with Reliance, and could approach, in substitution, the Indian industrial group Tata, so as to present a much smoother surface to critics Indian opposition, while avoiding a recurrence of the HAL episode.

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The Air Combat System mentioned by French and Indian leaders could relate to the AMCA program which should enable the Indian Air Force to replace its Su-30MKIs in the next decade.

This will initially involve taking over the industrial activity currently based in India, which produces components for Falcon aircraft and Rafale in Mihan Special Economic Zone in Nagpur, in the state of Maharashtra.

Above all, this joint venture in the making will allow Dassault to structure future cooperation, whether it concerns the future air combat system mentioned by the two leaders a few days ago, and which could refer either to the AMCA program of the Indian Air Force, or to the TEDBF of the Indian Navy, but also to strengthen the French proposal around the Rafale F4/F5 regarding the MMRCA 2 program.

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