Agree. We certainly don't want to turn into an S. Asian Saudi Arabia just because we can afford to pay for new weapons. That would be a failure of our defence strategy. And an sub optimal use of our money.Most countries would be pretty pleased with that offer, but for India, it poses the same problem as an M-88 core'd Kaveri unless know why is also part of the deal!
By simply buying and hoarding the most powerful weapons how is India any different from Saudi Arabia? How can India ever be independent in our foreign policy and strategic affairs, a la France- if we don't possess know how to iterate the next generation of our most strategic weapons on our own?
India is not an scientifically illiterate country. We have quite a good level of technical knowledge in both jet engines - turbofans and nuclear reactors. It is not that we are novices in these fields.
The possible collaboration with the French can help shorten the development cycle and plug gaps in our capability.
Both know how and know why are important to reach self sufficiency.
An technologically independent India which is not dependent on other countries for defence equipment will have more freedom to follow an independent foreign policy. Very similar to French objectives during the Cold War. A robust indigenous defence capability allowed France to look both Washington and Moscow in the eye without fear of being coerced.
There are no conflict issues between India and France and as the Indian economy expands it will be a large attractive market for French products and services. An economically powerful India backed by a strong indigenous defence capability can be a good partner of France. It will be a win-win relationship.
I hope the India - France defence relationship reaches its full potential. I believe such an development will contribute to the establishment of an multi polar world.
An objective both countries wish for.
We recognise that France is quite advanced in the nuclear submarine arena and is one of the countries which can manufacture high performance jet engines. I hope the French realise the benefits of deep technological cooperation with India.