If France is not willing to collaborate with a proposed project for maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) of helicopters in Goa, the Defence Ministry is willing to look for other partners, Union Minister of State for Defence Shripad Naik said on Tuesday.

Naik also admitted to the delay in setting up of the project, which was first proposed by former Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, but added that a breakthrough would be on cards within three months.

“In between that process has slowed down. If France is not ready, we will take another partner and the project will come, 100 per cent. It is time-consuming,” Naik said at a press conference in Panaji.

France-based Safran group, which provides supplies to fighter jet manufacturer Rafale, in association with Bengaluru-based Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), were scheduled to set up a Rs 170-crore facility for helicopter repair and maintenance in North Goa district.

The project was announced by Parrikar in 2016, but has been running behind schedule.

“That proposal was in collaboration with the French government,” Naik said, adding that irrespective of the collaborating partner, the project will get completed. “It is time-consuming. But within three months, it will happen,” Naik added.