The signing of the contract of more than EUR 1 billion for the construction in India 6 submarines barely dry rockfish, French manufacturers of Defense or European component French hope to transform the test this year, one of the most promising in the world markets. Thales to DCN and EADS passing by a few SMEs as Sofradir or Interministerial Committee, they are about 20 to have planted their booth at the 2006 edition of DefExpo, the track of the weapons that closes its doors tomorrow. All attracted to the projects of modernization of the armed forces to meet the ambitions of regional power in New Delhi. "The Scorpène agreement should serve as head of poster for French industrial", hope Jean-Marie Carnet, delegate general Gican, the grouping of buildings and naval weapons.
With 380 million euros of deliveries in 2004, the India is already among the good customers of the France, but its potential is still around. The country has purchased 5 billion euros of weapons last year, according to the local press. "My goal is to increase our catch of order of 10 per year," explains François Dupont, head of the local subsidiary of Thales, provided, through the provision of the contract of the submarines, of a minimum EUR 300 million sales per year in the medium term. In addition to the prospects for combat systems for surface ships the India wants to acquire the electronics group, associated with DCN, begins to think about the second batch of 10 submarines the Navy might want to produce in a few years. Not to mention the maintenance contract in operational conditions of the first six units which should provide strong revenues recurring.
Also present at DefExpo, Industrial Lasers (Cilas) company hopes to win a contract for a few million euros, but must contend with the aggressiveness of Israeli competitors. Giat Industries Development, his guns for aircraft or helicopters. But it is perhaps from the army that would be good news, with the prospect of a contract of hundreds of guns. Is organizing a partnership with a local actor prior now imposed by the Indian Government to develop a competitive local industry to ensure the country's technological independence. "The transfer of the Scorpènes licence agreement, we can improve our military complex", confirms CEO of shipyards Mazagon, Vice Admiral Krishnan.
An approach endorsed by the missile manufacturer MBDA long: his partner local, BEL, produced the best 30,000 Milan. And MBDA hopes to repeat the operation for placing his VL Mica, vertical launch vehicle, just adoubé by the French Army (in the key, a market of 400-500 million euros). Same pattern for Eurocopter in the final phase of tendering of approximately EUR 300 million for the renewal of a part of the small helicopter Cheetah and Chetak, manufactured under license in 600 copies by the Indian HAL. If victorious, 60 would be exported from the France and 137 products locally. In the cartons also, a cooperation project for 10 tonne helicopters that could be produced in at least 200 copies, and re-exported. "The opportunity to resolidifier our relationship with HAL", explains in EADS.
But the big upcoming case concerns the renewal of the fleet of the Indian air force MIG 126. The call for tenders is expected in the first half, which should see the Russians fight against Lockheed Martin with its F16 or F18, EADS and its Eurofighter and perhaps Dassault with the Rafale. No doubt a topic of conversation on the next visit to Jacques Chirac, accompanied by Michele Alliot-Marie, India followed a few weeks later of George Bush, while Vladimir Putin needed close the ban.