Dassault signs joint partnership for Indian aerospace manufacturing

India will buy 36 Dassault Rafale jets. Image courtesy of Wikipedia - Tim Felce
India will buy 36 Dassault Rafale jets. Image courtesy of Wikipedia - Tim Felce

French defence manufacturer Dassault Aviation has signed an agreement this week with Indian conglomerate Reliance Group in order to develop aerospace manufacturing within India.

The agreement, which comes in the form of a joint partnership, will be the largest ever defence-industrial partnership in India.

The joint partnership itself will be called Dassault Reliance Aerospace, and will involve the creation of a new aerospace-focused factory within the country.

This factory will be located in Nagpur in central India, and will reportedly expand over 100 acres according to Economic Times.

Furthermore, the new facility will produce 1500 direct jobs over seven years, with an additional 9000 indirect jobs also projected.

Dassault Reliance Aerospace’s establishment follows the recent signing of a long-running deal between Dassalt Aviation and the Indian Government to acquire a number of fighter jets.

All up India will purchase 36 Dassault Rafale multi-role jets, for a reported price of $8.8bn.

This deal was the primary impetus for the new partnership which will help India domestically produce the Rafale jets.

While the final aim is for 50% of the components for these Rafale jets to be produced within the country, this production will be brought online through a phased approach.

Production of these jet components will begin once construction of the Nagpur facility is completed. This is slated to begin within 3 months, and if all goes to plan, the factory could be ready for operation within a year.

The establishment of this joint venture fits in well with Indian PM Modi’s much-touted ‘Make in India’ plan.

The plan aims to turn India into a manufacturing powerhouse through investment incentives in key areas of the economy including high-tech sectors like the aviation industry.

“A comprehensive military aerospace partnership in terms of joint venture can actually [be] translated into a long-term commitment from Indian and foreign players aiming to strengthen defence industry in India” said an Indian Air Force official according to Defence News.