The war between Russia and Ukraine has caused the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to postpone India’s much-anticipated DefExpo 2022. The show was originally slated to take place in Gandhinagar, Gujarat, from March 10 to March 14.
According to the government, the surprise announcement was made owing to “logistical problems with participation.” The event may have been a great chance for India’s domestic defence industry to show off its wares. Foreign firms also sought to show off their weapons and equipment to entice the Indian military.
The French Naval Group, for example, was scheduled to show off cutting-edge technology, submarines, weaponry, and new ideas. In India’s intentions to build nuclear-powered submarines, the business is seen as a key player.
India is a long-term strategic partner for the corporation. The Naval Group also frequently promotes its support for the ‘Make in India’ programme, as well as its efforts to establish industrial connections with the Indian Navy, shipyards, and industry.
The Naval Group established a subsidiary in India in 2008. Naval Group India is in charge of identifying and evaluating local industry partners for current and future projects linked with the ‘Make in India’ initiative.
“The Naval Group India has prepared the path for several successful milestones aligned with the Indian Government’s ‘Make in India’ programme,” said Alain Guillou, Senior Executive Vice President (Development).
The Naval Group has been a strong candidate for Indian Navy projects in recent years. Naval Group wanted to deliver the best-in-class future submarine with superior propulsions, weaponry – F21 torpedo – and cutting-edge technologies for future use by the Indian Navy to the 12th edition of DefExpo.
At India’s premier defence exhibition, the business advertised the F21 torpedo as the show-stopper. It is the world’s first heavyweight torpedo, having attributes far superior to those of any other weapon in its class. According to the manufacturer, it is capable of completing complex missions on its own.
This torpedo has a tremendous computing capabilities, allowing it to execute incredible real-time processing, improve autonomy, and have a sophisticated mission system. For these torpedoes, the Naval Group is a manufacturer, integrator, and developer of advanced combat management systems.
“It also takes on the responsibility of smoothly integrating this torpedo on-board the Indian Navy’s submarine fleet’s Scorpene submarines,” the business stated.
The SMX 31E, a revolutionary submarine idea that includes cutting-edge digital technologies for enhanced operational efficiency and versatility, was also set to be unveiled by the French business. Steadier for increased operational efficiency and a wider range of applications.
Thanks to a new scaled biomimetic coating, it has greater stealth properties. Another important element of the platform, according to the company, is the submarine’s endurance, which allows the crew to stay submerged for months. It has a “new propulsion system” as well.
According to the business, the new generation submarine will be able to monitor areas ten times larger than previous models, and it will use advanced artificial intelligence technology to ensure maximum connectivity with the rest of the fleet in a distributed underwater network.
The crew will be able to quickly acquire and evaluate data from remote sensors thanks to its revolutionary digital design, allowing them to tackle underwater tactical situations.
Is There an Indo-French Nuclear Submarine Project?
The Naval Group also planned to display a replica of the Barracuda-class new generation of French rapid attack (SSN) submarine. The business claims the nuclear-powered vessel is capable of a wide range of missions, including intelligence gathering, special operations, deep strikes, anti-surface and anti-submarine warfare, and anti-surface and anti-submarine warfare.
This submarine is rumoured to be on the way to the Indian Navy from France. During the visit of French Defense Minister Florence Parly to Delhi in December last year, it was stated that Paris had presented the Barracuda nuclear attack submarine to the Indian Navy’s Project 75 Alpha.
According to reports, Naval Group is providing this submarine to India as part of Project 75 Alpha. The Indian Navy hopes to acquire new nuclear-powered assault submarines as part of this initiative. Following the AUKUS rejection, France lost a lucrative submarine agreement with Australia, making this project even more important.
The fact that France was left out of the AUKUS (United States, United Kingdom, and Australia) pact sparked outrage in Paris. Despite the fact that this was a significant loss for France, many observers saw it as a plus for India’s defence industry.