Spain Keen to Work Jointly, Expand Defence Cooperation with India with Focus on Industrial Collaboration

Foreign Affairs

New Delhi: Defence Secretary Giridhar Aramane held talks with Spanish Secretary of State for Defence Maria-Amparo Valcarce Garcia in New Delhi on March 08, 2024. A number of bilateral defence cooperation issues were discussed, with focus on industrial collaboration.

 

Both sides reviewed the ongoing projects, and discussed future joint plans in maritime and air domains. They appreciated the increased interaction at business-to-business level between the defence industries of both countries, including an ongoing visit from Spanish defence industry association TEDAE to India. The Defence Secretary highlighted the increased opportunities in India in the defence production sector.

 

Spanish Secretary of State for Defence Maria-Amparo Valcarce Garcia on a two-day visit to India and accompanied by a high-level delegation from the Spanish Ministry of Defence said while interacting with a media outlet that there is also keen interest to work together in producing ammunition and missiles and several areas of cooperation have been identified.

 

Maria-Amparo Valcarce said,“ We have been advised that the technical offer has been assessed as compliant. The next step is to undertake trials of the Air Independent Propulsion System (AIP) of the offered design. L&T and Navantia are working to commence the trails in few months.” The statement by the Spanish secretary brought clarity that Spanish government owned Navantia will also be in a position to go for trials, despite speculation that the submarine may not be ready to demonstrate the all-important AIP.

 

In contention with Germany’s Thyssenkrupp Marine Systems (TKMS) for a Rs 43,000 crore procurement order by the Indian Navy, Spain’s submarine has been declared technically compliant. The joint bid by L&T and Navantia (Spain) will soon move to the trials stage, with trials of the Air Independent Propulsion System (AIP) set to commence in a few months.

 

She said that the Spanish government fully supports the project. We perceive India as a very relevant player for ensuring stability in the Indo-Pacific. Adding, Navantia is looking to participate in an upcoming tender for construction of Landing Platform Docks (LPDs) and will work with an Indian partner to make them locally.

 

Mentioning other areas identified for cooperation, Valcarce said, “ We would like to open up new opportunities, for example, work jointly on missiles and ammunition. Our goal is to work jointly with India.” Highlighting the ongoing manufacturing of C-295 transport aircraft in Spain for an Indian Air Force order, she emphasised that it demonstrates the ability and willingness to transfer technology as a bulk of planes will eventually be made in India.