Rafale with Indian colours to be delivered in Sept: French envoy A Ziegler

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Rafale with Indian colours to be delivered in Sept: French envoy A ZieglerTalks on digital tech & environment likely during Modi's visit to G-7 summit, French envoy A Ziegler tells ET.

When will France deliver the first set of Rafale? How hopeful are you of garnering the order for the remaining 110 fighters?

In accordance with the contractual schedule, the first Rafale with Indian colours will be delivered to the Indian Air Force this September, exactly three years after the signing of the intergovernmental agreement by the French and Indian defence ministers on September 23, 2016. It will be followed till the delivery of the 36th aircraft, at the pace stipulated in the contract. Regarding the future orders for combat aircraft desired by India, Dassault Aviation is participating in two calls for tender, with the full support of the French government. The Rafale has thus been proposed to meet the requirement of 110 multi-role fighter jets for the Indian Air Force, and the Rafale's naval version, Rafale M (M stands for Marine, Navy in French), has been proposed to meet the requirement of 57 multirole aircraft on-board for the Navy.

What would be key elements of PM Modi’s visit to France in August for G-7 summit?

India will be particularly associated to the discussions on digital technology and environment. We know India is an indispensable stakeholder for those key governance issues. India participated in the G7 “Tech for Humanity” meeting of Digital Ministers in May in Paris and announced its support to the Christchurch Call. On digital issues, our approaches converge on major regulatory issues, such as the fight against hate content, the responsibility of private platforms and much more.

How will Paris Air Show be beneficial for Indo-French strategic partnership?

The 53rd International Paris Air Show has been akey event for the aerospace industry worldwide since 1909. As much as the Indo-French partnership has been on an extremely positive trend over the last years, so is India’s presence at the Paris Air Show.