Space Collaboration between India and France: Towards a New Era Asie.Visions, No. 78, September 2015
In the sphere of space research, France-India collaboration began in the early 1960s, with France providing assistance to India’s Rohini sounding rockets programme. Over the years, France has played a constructive role in helping India to develop its ground and space infrastructure, as well as its launching platforms and human resources. In point of fact, France has emerged as one of India’s most dependable partner in the realm of space.
And while this space relationship witnessed a period of dormancy in the 1990s, it gained momentum with the strategic partnership agreement of January 1998. Since then, India and France have further engaged in joint satellite development programmes as well as in joint commercial launch services. India in 2013 has even relied on French launch services in order to put strategic communication satellites into space for the Indian Navy. Ajey Lele suggests that the time has come for India and France to take this collaboration to the next level and to develop a common approach on sensitive issues such as space security and space awareness.