India-Russia expand cooperation in civil aviation
The Dollar Business Bureau
Russia's Trade Minister indicated acceleration of India-Russia cooperation in Aviation as he announced that Russia is open to manufacture components for its Sukhoi super jet in India. He said that the North Asian nation was also in talks with Mahindra and Mahindra regarding the MC 21 aircraft, which is to have its first flight soon.
As he revealed that interiors for Sukhoi super jet are being manufactured by a unit of Mahindra, India's top aerospace company, he also said that Mahindra could take part in the MC 21 project, for production of components as well as interiors.
On the sidelines of International Engineering Sourcing Show (IESS) in Chennai, bilateral talks were held between Russian Trade and Industry Minister Denis Manturov, and Indian Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitaraman. During these talks, both the countries agreed to expand their cooperation beyond defence, into civil aviation.
Speaking of a consignment of commercial aircraft for a regional airline, the Trade Minister from Russia said that the country was open to involving Indian aerospace enterprises like Mahindra in the manufacture of these aircraft.
In the defence arena, agreement on joint production of 140 Kazan helicopters is underway. Also, Russia is due to supply 60 such multipurpose helicopters to India.
The announcement comes in the backdrop of newly appointed Defence Minister Arun Jaitley pressurising Russia to share its defence technology, without which India faces operational problems in upgrading its Russia-originated defence equipment. Especially in production of parts and components of defence systems, the requirement of which is recurring, Jaitley has called for expanded cooperation from Russia's end.