23 October, Goa
The France-based Safran group, which provides supplies to Rafale fighter jet manufacturers, has been asked to set up a facility in Goa to produce small components of the company’s import requirement, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said on Sunday.
Speaking during the inauguration of a helicopter maintenance and repair centre in Sattari, set up following a joint venture between the Bengaluru-based Hindustan Aueronautics Ltd and the Safran Group, Parrikar said he hoped to see the Centre develop from a copter repair and maintenance operation to an helicopter engine manufacturing facility.
“Flacma, also a part of the Safran group, are 20-25 per cent suppliers to Rafale. So I told them why don’t you come with a small component of your requirement of importing from India into Goa,” Parrikar said.
He said that out of the total value of Rs 59,000 crore Rafale fighter jet deal, nearly Rs 30,000 crore dealt with procurement of equipment for the manufacture of the jets.
Parrikar said the helicopter maintenance and repair facility in Goa was vital as far as the military facilities in western India are concerned.
“In western region, engines could be directly sent here so that they do not have to struggle at the base depot. This is first phase,” the Defence Minister said.
“From there it will slowly expand to make some parts and components and we wish we can go for engine manufacturing,” he said.
“If HAL is to maintain engines, then they should tie up Safran and come out with Make in India for manufacturing of engines. We are going to require between 6,000 and 10,000 engines in next eight to 10 years, which is a big enough quantity and most of them are Safran engines,” he said.
He added that the Goa government was willing to provide land to facilitate the project.