Rafale fighter jet engine manufacturer reveals plans for $150 million investment, seeks more support on its tax structure

India should provide an attractive business environment and not “terrorise us” with its tax and customs rules, the chief executive officer of the French engine manufacturer behind the Rafale fighter jet told defence minister Rajnath Singh on Wednesday while announcing that the company plans to invest nearly $150 million in the country.

French multinational Safran, the manufacturer of the M88 state of the art engines fitted in the Rafale jets acquired by India, gave a presentation of its facility to the minister who took a tour of the assembly line of the company near the French capital.  

“Visited the Engine Manufacturing Facility of Safran at Villaroche near Paris today. Safran is known for its engine making capabilities. They have also developed the engine for Rafale,” Singh said in a tweet.

“Happy to meet some of the young and bright engineers of Indian origin working at the Safran manufacturing facility. Their technical knowledge and hard work is impressive and inspiring,” he said.  

During the presentation, CEO of the Safran Aircraft Engines Olivier Andries revealed plans for nearly $150 million investment in the country towards training and maintenance.  

However, the CEO called on India for more support on its tax structure.  “India is set to become the third largest commercial market for aviation and we are keen to create a strong maintenance and repair base in India to serve customers,” Andries said.  “But we need to make sure that the Indian tax and customs system is not terorrising us,” he said.

The minister responded by assuring him that India was committed to providing the “right climate” for investments under the ‘Make in India’ initiative.  Singh also invited Safran to participate in the DefExpo in Lucknow in February next year, an invitation that was accepted by the company which designs and develops engines for civil and military aircraft at its assembly line at Villaroche in Reau, near Paris.