New Delhi: Admiral Alain Oudot de Dainville, chief of the French Navy, held wide-ranging discussions with his Indian counterpart, Admiral Sureesh Mehta, on Monday. He is leading a high level naval delegation to India.
Besides meeting the naval chief, Admiral Oudot De Danville also met the army chief, General Deepak Kapoor, and the air chief, Air Chief Marshal Fali Homi Major, as well as defence secretary, Vijay Singh.
Admiral Dainville's visit to New Delhi assumes significance in the wake of fresh speculation that India planned to tender for a second line of submarines shortly.
The French Company DCN International has already secured a contract for the supply of six Scorpene submarines to the Indian Navy.
The French admiral will visit the navy's new base at Karwar, becoming the first foreign naval chief to do so. He will also visit the naval air base at Goa as well as warships of the country's Western Naval Fleet in Mumbai.
India and France, so far, have held five rounds of joint strategic exercises involving carriers, nuclear submarines, frigates, destroyers as well as naval fighters.
Incidentally, Admiral Dainville is the first high-ranking French defence official to visit New Delhi after the country scrapped a billion dollar deal for the purchase of 197 helicopters from the European consortium Eurocopter, which invited protests from the French and German governments.