Indian Minister Calls for Joint Defense Manufacturing with Russia

India’s defence minister Rajnath Singh on Wednesday called upon the Russian defense industry to jointly manufacture platforms and equipment with India that “would give a massive boost to the nations’ exports to third countries,” Indus Dictum reports.

Singh was addressing CEOs of Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) from the Russian Defense Industry after jointly inaugurating the India-Russia Defense Industry Cooperation Conference with Russian Minister of Industry and Trade Denis Manturov in Moscow.

According to the minister, the Indian government 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 defense manufacturing sector for foreign participation.

“We have set up defense 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 defense equipment with Russia. We want collaboration with you to modernize our defense platforms by advanced and emerging technology. Indian MSMEs seek footholds in the global supply chains with support from Russian and other foreign companies,” the minister said.

He added that such industrial partnership can also address ‘After-Sales Support of Equipment of Soviet or Russian origin’ already in service with Indian defense 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 defense 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.