Diplomacy

Rajnath’s Russia visit to focus on deals for Indian defence industry

File Photo: India’s defence minister Rajnath Singh at a meeting with the Indian defence industry in New Delhi in August this year.

New Delhi: India’s Minister of Defence Rajnath Singh today left for Russia on a three-day official visit, when the two nations are expected to sign deals for military spares involving their industries.

Rajnath Singh will co-chair the 19th India-Russia Inter-Governmental Commission on Military and Military Technical Cooperation along with his Russian counterpart General Sergei Shoigu.

The two ministers will extensively discuss all areas of military-to-military and defence industrial cooperation.

The Indian defence minister will also open an ‘India-Russia Defence Industry Cooperation Conference’ along with Russian Minister of Industry and Trade Denis Manturov.

The conference will discuss ways to promote defence industrial cooperation between India and Russia, technology transfer and investment in India in defence industry under the ‘Make in India‘ programme.

Rajnath Singh is scheduled to visit St Petersburg, where he will place wreath at the Piskarevsky Memorial Cemetery honouring the soldiers and civilians, who lost their lives during the Second World War.

The Indian minister may visit Russian defence production facilities in and around St Petersburg too.

During Rajnath Singh’s visit to Moscow, the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), jointly with the Ministry of Defence, will be leading a 50-member industry delegation to Russia for a two-day visit on Nov. 5 and 6.

The objective of the delegation is to explore ways to jointly manufacture spares and components with Russian Original Equipment Manufacturers under the ‘Make in India’, a statement from FICCI said.

Rajnath Singh and Denis Manturov will address senior representatives of the defence industry from India and Russia at the ‘India–Russia Defence Industry Cooperation Conference’ to be held on Nov. 5 in Moscow.

The delegation to Russia is a follow-up to the Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) signed on Sep. 4 by India and Russia to operationalise a mechanism for collaboration on joint manufacturing of spare parts, components, aggregates and other products for the maintenance of Russian-origin arms and defence equipment in India under the ‘Make in India’ programme through the transfer of technology and setting up of joint ventures.

The IGA framework gives the assurance of business order for a minimum of five years. Russian platforms identified for cooperation to manufacture spares and components include Sukhoi Su-30, MIG 29, Mi-17 helicopters, MIG 29 K/KUB, INS Vikramaditya, T-72 and T-90.

The team from the Indian defence industry includes Chairmen and Managing Directors of public sector companies like Bharat Dynamics Limited, BEML Limited, and Goa Shipyard Limited, and senior industry leaders from nearly 35 private sector companies like Larsen & Toubro Defence, Bharat Forge Limited, Adani Defence, Texmaco Defence, Alpha Design Technologies Private Limited, Ananth Technologies Limited, MKU Limited, SMPP Private Limited, Zen Technologies Limited and others.

Senior officials associated with the Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh defence industrial corridors will be reaching out to potential investors to set up manufacturing facilities in these industrial corridors.

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