India’s Ambassador to France, Jawed Ashraf, disclosed to the media on Friday that Safran, the fighter jet engine manufacturer, has conveyed its readiness for a complete transfer of technology (ToT) throughout various stages of the project. He mentioned that ongoing discussions between India and Safran are focused on the Shakti jet engine deal.
Providing an overview of the possible India-France deal for Shakti engines, he explained that the discussions focus on synchronising the engine specifications with India’s forthcoming fighter jet needs. Ambassador Ashraf emphasized that India seeks a holistic approach to technology transfer, extending beyond manufacturing. The agreement aims to explore the intricacies of the design phase, metallurgical components, and other vital elements crucial for the advancement of sophisticated jet engines.
“We are looking for not just manufacturing and Transfer of Technology, which keeps you going with the same crutches you have been going on for the last few decades, but work in the actual design phase, metallurgical phase, etc. So Safran is willing to do it with 100% technology transfer including design, development, certification to production. But it’s a complex subject and has to fit in with future requirements,” he said.
Safran, a major aerospace player based in France, has signalled its readiness for a complete technology transfer across various phases of the project’s design development, certification, and production phases. Ambassador Ashraf acknowledged that successfully navigating the deal’s intricacies necessitates aligning the discussions with India’s broader future defence requirements.
The Ambassador emphasized that ongoing discussions will continue within the framework of the defence industry roadmap. In July 2023, India and France decided to expand their defence collaboration in advanced aeronautical technologies, endorsing the joint development of a combat aircraft engine. Also, they committed to facilitating industrial cooperation for the motorization of heavy-lift helicopters under the Indian Multi-Role Helicopter (IMRH) program in partnership with Safran Helicopter Engine.
The declaration followed discussions between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris. In April 2023, Safran’s Chairman, Ross McInnes, engaged in talks with PM Modi regarding a technological partnership in defence and space. Subsequently, Safran Helicopter Engines and Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) formalised a workshare agreement for the collaborative development of an engine slated for deployment in the future Indian MultiRole Helicopter (IMRH). Safran, a French multinational corporation, specialises in designing, developing, and manufacturing aircraft engines, rocket engines, and various aerospace and defence-related equipment.