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Indian Defence Minister Pushes for India Russia Third Country Defence Exports

Published Nov 07, 2019
Updated Feb 06, 2020

Rajnath Singh called for operationalisation of the Inter-Governmental Agreement on manufacturing of spares, components and aggregates in India through joint ventures

The 19th India-Russia Inter-Governmental Commission on Military and Military Technical Cooperation (IRIGC-M&MTC) meeting, co-chaired by Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh and Russian Defence Minister General Sergey Shoigu was held in Moscow on 06 November.

A day prior Shri Rajnath Singh called upon the Russian Defence Industry to jointly manufacture defence platforms and equipment with India that will give a massive boost to the nations’ exports to third countries.

Raksha Mantri was addressing CEOs of Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) from Russian Defence Industry after jointly inaugurating ‘India-Russia Defence Industry Cooperation Conference’ with Russian Minister of Industry and Trade Mr Denis Manturov in Moscow, Russia.

In his talks with the Russian Defence Minister Mr Rajnath Singh highlighted the importance of the Inter-Governmental Agreement on manufacturing of spares, components and aggregates in India through joint ventures that would reduce cost, timelines of supply and result in progressive indigenisation. This agreement is expected to provide a major boost to the ‘Make in India’ initiative.

Responding to Raksha Mantri’s invitation, the Russian Defence Minister assured robust Russian participation in DefExpo 2020, to be held in Uttar Pradesh capital Lucknow between February 5-8, 2020.

The Russian side affirmed its readiness to operationalise the joint venture lndo-Russia Rifles Private Limited for the manufacture of world class Kalashnikov AK 203 rifles in India at the earliest.

Both sides expressed satisfaction on the progress in implementing ongoing contracts concluded in the recent past.

General Shoigu agreed to Raksha Mantri’s request to constitute specific working groups for after-sales support of key defence platforms.

In his interaction with the Russian Defence Industry, the Raksha Mantri said, Government of India is encouraging OEMs to partner with Indian entities making use of the ‘Make in India’ initiative.

He urged the Industry leaders to make use of the significant economic reforms undertaken by the Government, under the leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, to improve ease of doing business and opening up the defence manufacturing sector for foreign participation.

“We have set up defence corridors in Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu and offer attractive terms for investment. India is ready to explore opportunities and co-production of high-end defence equipment with Russia. We want collaboration with you to modernise our defence platforms by advanced and emerging technology. Indian MSMEs seek footholds in the global supply chains with support from Russian and other foreign companies,” said Shri Rajnath Singh.

He added that such industrial partnership can also address ‘After Sales Support of Equipment of Soviet or Russian origin’ already in Service with Indian Defence Forces.

 Raksha Mantri highlighted the Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) on Mutual Cooperation in Joint Manufacturing of Spares, Components, Aggregates and other material related to Russian or Soviet Origin Arms and Defence Equipment that was signed between India and Russia on September 4, 2019 during the 20th India-Russia Annual Summit at Vladivostok. He said, the IGA defines broad framework of cooperation for manufacturing of spares in India by way of collaboration between Indian Industry and Russian OEMs.

Shri Rajnath Singh assured that India will provide orders for procurement of agreed quantities at mutually decided price for a period not less than five years. He expressed hope that the manufacturing under the agreement in India will lead to reduction in cost, reduction in timelines of the supplies and progressive indigenisation of spares.

“We will soon share with the Russian side the list of spares and items, proposed to be manufactured in India. I hope that Russia will identify the OEMs in the next few months who can partner in production of these spares. We are eager to see several joint industrial activities in India on the basis of the agreement in near future,” added Raksha Mantri.

Raksha Mantri was accompanied by a high-level delegation, comprising senior officials of Ministry of Defence and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI).