The much hyped Indo-French pact to allow India to produce French cruise missiles under transfer of technology from European Missile Consortium MBDA to Defense Research & Development Organization (DRDO) appeared to have stalled. The deal would have included key subsystems that would have greatly augmented Indian missile program and was supposed to have been the capstone of Defense Minister Pranab Mukherjee’s European tour.
Mukherjee had recently asserted that the “deal is still on track” even though details were “being firmed up” and is not disclosing reasons about why the deal stalled. Apparently, India is asking for clear policy on technology transfer and insisting on French consideration of Indo-French strategic dialogue while selling arms to China or Pakistan . In other words, they want restraint in selling arms (such as submarines) to traditional regional rivals. India is also worried that some aircraft related technologies have either not been delivered or withdrawn from earlier unilaterally by France .
As part of the strategic dialogue, Mukherjee said that both nations are interested in joint production of cruise missiles. Further, India is keen on French participation in the co-production of state-of-the-art weapons, sensors, communications, and surveillance systems. Apart from cruise missile technology, India is also seeking to obtain ring laser gyros (a component and subsystem used in larger navigation systems), considered a key technology holding up nuclear-capable Agni program.
India has also promised France that is does not intend to withdraw from the UN Interim Force in Lebanon and would support the latter’s leadership