France cements its place as key ally


Sandeep Dikshit

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 29

Five Rafale fighter jets that landed at this time at Ambala don’t represent even half a squadron. But their supply as soon as once more brings again the highlight on France which has remained India’s trusted companion by the Cold War and past.

Just two years after India’s Independence and a 12 months earlier than US President Dwight Eisenhower’s “Atoms for Peace” speech that opened the doorways for multi-country civil nuclear collaboration, France and India had collaborated in a venture to extract thorium from monazite sand. It was a dead-end, however it in flip led to a partnership that lasted until India performed its first nuclear take a look at in 1974.

A Step in direction of stronger maritime partnership

While extra Rafale jets will preserve arriving and a few could also be assembled right here, the ties between French President Emmanuel Macron and Prime Minister Narendra Modi could finally result in a stronger partnership within the maritime area, particularly within the Western Indian Ocean, the place the Chinese risk is looming and the US is lukewarm about partnering with India.

But when India performed its second nuclear take a look at in 1998, Russia and France had been the one main powers that didn’t succumb this time to the Anglo-US stress to cancel army and safety exchanges.

A 12 months later, France made emergency provides of ammunition in the course of the Kargil War that was utilized by Mirage planes for correct and debilitating strikes on Pakistani sangars on steep mountainsides. However, French army machines had been doing yeoman service for the Indian armed forces a lot earlier than the Mirages arrived. The Cheetah and the Chetak that feed and equip Indian troopers in forbidding heights are additionally of French origin. However, army ties started simply seven years after Independence. Over 100 Mystere fighter jets from France that joined the Indian Air Force had been capable of match the American Starfighters in dogfights in the course of the 1965 Indo-Pak War.

While extra Rafale will preserve arriving and a few could finally be assembled right here, the shut private ties between French President Emmanuel Macron and Prime Minister Narendra Modi could result in a stronger partnership within the maritime area, particularly within the western Indian Ocean the place the Chinese risk is looming and the US is lukewarm about partnering with India.

India and France have trodden that path earlier than. Paris had helped set up two listening stations on India’s western coast. These had been to be linked with related ones in Iran and France for a complete protection of the western Indian Ocean. But the 1979 Islamic revolution in Iran ended that initiative.



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