India-Russia progress in defence co-operation through Make in India

Russia open to partnering with Indian firms for defence spares production

The Dollar Business Bureau

After fruitful negotiations between India and Russia as a part of the India-Russia Military Industrial Conference, two agreements were signed between Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and United Aircraft Corporation and United Engine Corporation of Russia for long-term technical assistance and spare parts required to service the Russia-originated Su -30 MKI aircraft. 

Russia has broadly agreed to enter into joint ventures with Indian manufacturers for a seamless supply of spare parts and components necessary to maintain operational readiness of Russian-origin defence platforms used by the Indian Army. 

This positive development was brought about even as Defence Minister Arun Jaitley, in his inaugural speech, called upon Russian firms to extend defence cooperation with India in manufacturing, by sharing defence technology. This is deemed to be essential for the upkeep and up gradation of Russian defence equipment in India's arsenal, which needs a recurring supply of certain components and spare parts. 

The conference was organised with the objective of procuring life-cycle support and maintenance agreements for Russian defence equipment/platforms like Mi-17 Helicopters, SU-30 MKI aircraft, INS Vikramaditya, MiG-29K aircraft, and T-90 tanks. 

India's Defence Ministry stated that Russia has expressed interest in participating in the 'Make in India' program through the manufacture of components and spare parts, which would greatly assist Russia in providing after-sales support for maintenance of Russian equipment being used by Indian Armed Forces. 

The conference saw participation from 150 Russian industry delegates and over 100 Indian defence corporations. The presence of Russian defence giants included United Aircraft Corporation, Russian Helicopters, United Shipbuilding Corporation, United Engines Corporation, and Ural Vagonzavod. Through extensive presentations made by these companies, possibilities of furthering India-Russia defence co-operation were explored. 

In the recent years, after the signing of India-Russia Strategic Partnership in 2000, defence partnership between the two countries has grown multifold from a simple buyer-seller relationship to joint efforts in the field of research and production. 

The Dollar Business Bureau - Mar 22, 2017 12:00 IST