French Army Chief’s Visit to India Significant, Further Strengthens Indo-French Defence Collaboration

Indian Army

New Delhi: Coming close on the heels of the recently concluded visit of the French President Emmanuel Macron to India, the visit of French Army Chief General Pierre Schill assumes importance. General Schill held discussions with his Indian counterpart, General Manoj Pande, focusing on strengthening bilateral cooperation between the two armies.

General Pierre Schill is set to witness a firepower demonstration of the indigenous Pinaka multi-barrel rocket launcher, at the Pokhran Field Firing Range in Rajasthan. In addition, the French Army chief will engage with representatives from the defence industry on February 29.

“He will also visit the Sapta Shakti Command in Jaipur and meet with senior military commanders,” according to an official statement issued by the Ministry of Defence.

Manufactured in India by the Tata Group, the Pinaka multi-barrel rocket launcher boasts a maximum range of 40 km for the Mark-I version and 60 km for the enhanced Mark-I version. It has the capability to fire a salvo of 12 rockets in just 44 seconds. India recently supplied the Pinaka system to Armenia amid ongoing conflicts, and interest has been expressed by Nigeria and Indonesia in acquiring the system as well.

General Pierre Schill will address officers at the National Defence College (NDC) in New Delhi before departing for France on February 29.

Highlighting the shared commitment of France and India to enhance their strategic collaboration across defence, security, and technology, the official statement issued stated, “These bilateral visits and joint military exercises epitomize the enduring bond between the armed forces of both nations and reaffirm their commitment to promoting regional stability and international security.”