French Defence Minister Florence Parly pledged to supply more Rafale jets to India if needed and also condemned China’s aggressive behavior. France stands ready to meet any requirement for Rafale combat jets that India requires. The French Defence Minister further says, “We are always there for India’s support and will always be ready to meet any requirement for more Rafale combat jets from India. The nation is doing its best to bolster the Make in India initiative by integrating Indian manufacturers into global supply chains.
Commenting on the china’s aggressive behavior French Defence Minister Parley said that appropriate measures need to be taken and a delicate balance must be find between addressing such behaviour and working together with China on issues like climate change & trade.
“I am very happy that the Indian Air Force is satisfied with its Rafales and we are very proud that despite Covid-19, the 36 aircraft will be delivered on time according to the contract. It’s a real achievement,” Parly said, responding to a question on whether France would provide more Rafale combat aircraft to India.
The Defence Minister Florence Parley mentioned the use of Rafale Jets by air force of both countries as a real asset and strength for bilateral cooperation. She further added, “I am sure that there is room for new developments. We are ready to answer any additional needs or requests that could be made by India,” she said.
Responding to a question about France’s views on China’s assertive activities, Parly said, “It’s a delicate balance that must be found. China is a major country, there are areas where cooperation can be envisaged and developed. You probably remember that China played an important role when the Paris conference about climate change happened six years ago. And China is, of course, a major player in implementing this fight against climate change.”
She contended that France and India share the same views on international maritime law and freedom of navigation. “And most of the goods use these…maritime lanes. So these maritime lanes must remain free. We see that sometimes there are attempts to close this South China Sea and we want to make sure that this freedom of navigation is respected,” she said.
So, we are an Indian-Indo-Pacific country and we want to develop a very close multilateral relationship with the neighbouring countries. Of course, India is at the centre of this strategy. We have developed a very good relationship with Australia,” Parly said.
Then Australia made its own decision. I will not comment on it. It is of course very disappointing for us but it would continue being a major partner,” she added.
France has successfully delivered 33 of the jets till now. Moreover in the year 2016, France and India has inked a ₹59000-crore deal for 36 Rafale jets. All the aircrafts will be manufactured as per India’s specifications. French Defence Minister has marked the induction of the first batch of Rafales into the IAF by attending the event in July 2020.