Defence Minister Rajnath Singh today 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. He was addressing CEOs of Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) from the Russian Defence Industry after jointly inaugurating the India-Russia Defence Industry Cooperation Conference with Russian Minister of Industry and Trade Denis Manturov in Moscow, Russia.
The Defence Minister said that the Government of India is encouraging OEMs to partner with Indian entities making use of the ‘Make in India’ initiative. He urged 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. 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 the Defence Minister. 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.
He 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 signed between India and Russia on September 4, 2019, during the 20th India-Russia Annual Summit at Vladivostok. He said that the IGA defines a broad framework of cooperation for the manufacturing of spares in India by way of collaboration between the Indian industry and Russian OEMs.
Singh assured that India will provide orders for procurement of agreed quantities at a 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 the production of these spares. We are eager to see several joint industrial activities in India on the basis of the agreement in the near future,” Singh added.
He looked forward to his meeting with the Defence Minister of Russia General Sergei Shoigu, saying that he hopes to discuss mutual steps to facilitate Russian OEMs to take necessary actions for collaboration with the Indian industry. He also invited the Russian manufacturers to participate in the forthcoming DefExpo 2020, to be held in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, from February 5-8, 2020.
Rajnath Singh is accompanied by a high-level delegation, comprising senior officials of Ministry of Defence and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI).