Bangalore: French industries are committed to India's 'Make in India' policy, Ambassador Emmanuel Lenain said adding that he believes that France and India should work for strategic autonomy.

"French industries have been committed and have been pioneering for decades in the Make in India & more and more doing co-development of weapons of the future. We really believe that we should work together for strategic autonomy," said French Ambassador while talking to ANI on the sidelines of Aero India-2023 in Bengaluru.

Today, the 14th edition of Aero India 2023 was inaugurated at the Air Force Station at Yelahanka airbase in Bengaluru.

"We wish for the better. We have provided a very good offer and it seems that the technical test in Goa has been very positive. So, now we feel that we can be hopeful," he responded to a query over Rafale-M (Marine).

He also stated that there have been a lot of discussions on many pieces of equipment. The Rafale deal was very symbolic.

"It was the commitment of French companies to provide the best technology for India, on time. It will be the same in the future," he added.

Meanwhile, the UK Minister of State at the Ministry of Defence, Alex Chalk expressed his happiness for joining other delegates at the Aero India 2023 event and said that he is 'delighted' to be here.

"India is already a great country but it is only just starting. It has huge potential, we are delighted to be here, and we want to be at your side," he said.

"We recognize that India is in the place where it wants to build its indigenous, sovereign capability. So that it can export weapons & arms on its terms in India's interests because a strong India and a strong region is good for the world. That's what we want to assist with," the UK Minister of State added.

Earlier, British High Commissioner Alex Ellis also said that the UK wanted to broaden and deepen its relationship with India in defence area, especially with the air force.

The British High Commissioner said that the UK is the biggest delegation ever to Aero India. He further added, " They're here because they're the world's outstanding producer of aircraft engines&want to work more closely with the Indian Government and companies."

At the event, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the country, which was the biggest defence importer for decades, now exports defence equipment to 75 countries.

"New India of the 21st century will now neither lose any opportunity nor lag behind in hard work. We're ready. On the path to reforms, we're bringing a revolution in every sector. The country which was the biggest defence importer for decades now exports defence equipment to 75 countries," said PM Modi at the Aero India 2023 event.

PM Modi said India of the 21st century will neither lose out on any opportunity nor will shy away from working hard to achieve its dreams.

The Indian companies participating in this five-day event's exhibition include MSMEs and start-ups, which will showcase the advancement of niche technologies, and growth in aerospace and defence capabilities in the country.

Major exhibitors in Aero India 2023 include Airbus, Boeing, Dassault Aviation, Lockheed Martin, Israel Aerospace Industry, BrahMos Aerospace, Army Aviation, HC Robotics, SAAB, Safran, Rolls Royce, Larsen & Toubro, Bharat Forge Limited, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) and BEML Limited.