India, Russia should jointly manufacture defence equipment: Rajnath Singh

Photo: India’s defence minister Rajnath Singh interacting with Russian trade minister Denis Manturov in Moscow during an India-Russia defence industry meet.

Moscow: India’s Minister of Defence Rajnath Singh today asked the the Russian industry to jointly manufacture defence platforms and equipment with India that will give a massive boost to the two nations’ exports to third countries.

At the ‘India-Russia Defence Industry Cooperation Conference’ here in the presence of Russian Minister of Industry and Trade Denis Manturov, Rajnath Singh told the Russian original equipment manufacturers’ (OEMs) chief executive officers that the Indian government 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 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,” the Indian minister said.

“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,” he said,

Such industrial partnership can also address gthe ‘After Sales Support of Equipment of Soviet or Russian origin’ already in service with the Indian armed forces, he added.

Photo: India-Russia Defence Industry Cooperation Conference held in Moscow today.

Highlighting the Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) on Mutual Cooperation in Joint Manufacturing of Spares, Components, Aggregates and other Materials related to Russian- or Soviet-origin arms and defence equipment that was signed between India and Russia on Sep. 4 during the 20th India-Russia Annual Summit at Vladivostok, the Indian minister said the IGA defines broad framework of cooperation for manufacturing of spares in India by way of collaboration between Indian industry and Russian OEMs.

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,” he added.

Rajnath Singh told the gathering that he would discuss mutual steps to facilitate Russian OEMs to take necessary actions for collaboration with Indian industry, when he meeting with his Russian counterpart General Sergei Shoigu on Nov. 6 (tomorrow).

He also invited the Russian manufacturers to participate in the forthcoming DefExpo 2020, to be held in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, from Feb. 5 to 8.

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