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Subject: The French-Indo alliance deeper than most realize
Herc the Merc    9/5/2006 12:37:52 PM
After passing of nuclear deal in US Congress-guess who got the cake--France so far--there were essentially 2 deal sweetners--the proposed 8 Indian nuclear power reactors and the 126 fighter jet order. France already to get 6 of those orders(Aveva). France sold 6 Scorpenes and is co-operating significantly on cruise missiles-- France is supporting India's bid for UN security council--USA does not support. All in all Bush jr did a lot for the budding INdo-US military relationship, but that was primarily due to 9/11 aftershocks, not a natural synergy. All in all India should still rely on France as the more reliable military supplier. If I were to see things from an Indian point of view India would be the first customer for Rafale. Also Boieng got orders from Indian government by twisting its arm while Airbus had better deal. The only place Boeing succeeds on its own in India is with the 737- for the Southwest airline type carriers.
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Herc the Merc    Indo-French Missile- Co-op--surprise level of TOT -Transf of tech   9/5/2006 1:20:43 PM
Signing of Indo-French missile pact put off


The signing of a crucial Indo- French agreement on transfer of technology for production of French cruise missiles by India was put off due to last minute hitches, official sources said today.

The deal, which also would have facilitated the transfer of critical technology for sub-systems needed for India's indigenious missile programme, was to have been the high point of Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee's visit to France.

Although Mukherjee had said late last night that the "deal is still on track" and details are "close to being firmed up", sources today said certain hitches had resulted in the signing of the pact being put off.

There were no details about the hitches, and French officials too were tightlipped about why the deal was stalled. The sources said the deal would be signed later.

The proposed agreement envisaged the transfer of technology from European missile consortium MBDA to India's Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). It was to have been signed in the presence of Mukherjee and his French counterpoint Michele Aliotte-Marie.

Doing some plain speaking at delegation-level talks yesterday, Mukherjee told the French defence top brass that they should declare their policy on transfer of critical technologies, and ensure that the strategic partnership between India and France was reflected in Paris' arms sales policies for China and Pakistan.

Besides cruise missile technology, India is seeking from France the supply of ring laser gyros, a key component holding up progress of the nuclear-capable Agni missile programme as well as other indigenous missiles.

India has a joint venture with Russia for making the supersonic BrahMos cruise missiles with a range of about 300 km.

But with progress apparently stalled on the prestigious Agni III ballistic missile, India is keen to develop an alternative delivery system -- a cruise missile with a range of 1,200 to 1,500 km.

The proposed agreement with France was not only for technology transfer as it envisaged joint research and development of missiles, Mukherjee said.

In addition to missile technology, India is looking to France for know-how for other futuristic weapon platforms with applications in space and survelliance, he said.

Elaborating on India's wish-list, Mukherjee said it included the supply of spares and technical know-how as well as arrangements with French equipment manufacturers for setting up production facilties for spares and weapon sub-systems.

Before the start of bilateral talks yesterday, the minister told the French candidly that they had failed to supply some critical sub-systems to the Indian Air Force.

Despite the hard talk, Mukherjee also acknowledged that the French had been "supportive" in supplying critical technology to India and hoped this trend would continue.

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