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India-France Defence Cooperation Strengthened by Chief of Defence Staff’s Visit

France: General Anil Chauhan, the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), recently concluded a comprehensive visit to France, marking another milestone in the enduring strategic partnership between India and France. The visit, characterized by high-level engagements and productive discussions, has reaffirmed the commitment of both nations to bolster bilateral defence cooperation.

During his visit, General Anil Chauhan engaged in discussions with key stakeholders in the French defence establishment, including Mr Patrick Pailloux, Director of Civil & Military Cabinet of the Minister of the French Armed Forces, and Lt Gen Vincent Giraud, Chief of Military Cabinet of the Minister of the Armed Forces. These interactions, held at the apex level, facilitated the exchange of views on areas of mutual interest and shared security concerns.

Of particular significance were General Chauhan’s meetings with his counterpart, General Thierry Burkhard (CEMA), which underscored the importance of enhancing defence collaboration between India and France. Deliberations at France’s Directorate General of Armament focused on exploring avenues for expanding the exchange of high-end dual-use technologies, aimed at bolstering the capacity building efforts of the Indian Armed Forces.

Furthermore, engagements with top leaders of the French Defence industry, including Dassault, Safran, Naval Groups, and Thales Alenia Space, were geared towards fostering futuristic capabilities and advancing the agenda of indigenisation within the Indian defence sector.

The visit also provided opportunities for General Chauhan to interact with key institutions within the French military establishment, such as the French Land Forces Command (CFT), the French Space Command (CDE), and the School of Military Studies (Ecole Militaire). These interactions not only facilitated an exchange of perspectives on security challenges but also paved the way for enhanced collaboration in areas such as space, modernisation initiatives, and bilateral training.

In a poignant gesture, General Chauhan paid tribute to the courage and sacrifice of soldiers of the Indian Expeditionary Force who fought on the Western Front during the First World War. Visits to the War Memorials of Neuve-Chapelle and Villers-Guislain served as a solemn reminder of the shared history and enduring Indo-French relationship.


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