Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on a visit to Russia assured the defence industry there that India will give procurement orders of agreed quantities at mutually decided price for a period not less than five years if they decide to move their manufacturing to India. Inviting the Russian defence industry members to jointly develop defence equipment in India, Singh also said that he was hopeful that manufacturing under such agreement will lead to reduction in cost and timelines of the supplies, and also result in progressive indigenisation of spares.
“We will soon share with the Russian side the list of spares and items, proposed to be manufactured in India,” Singh told the members of the Russian defence industry and added that he hoped that “Russia will identify the OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers) in the next few months who can partner in production of these spares”. He also expressed his eagerness “to see several joint industrial activities in India” in near future.
The agreement mentioned by Singh is 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 that India and Russia had signed on September 4, 2019 at the 20th India-Russia Annual Summit at Vladivostok. The IGA, Singh said, defines broad framework of cooperation for manufacturing of spares in India by way of collaboration between Indian Industry and Russian OEMs.
Addressing the leaders of the OEMs after inaugurating the India-Russia Defence Industry Cooperation Conference in Moscow on the first of his three-day trip, Singh also encouraged the Russian companies to participate in the DefExpo that will be held in Lucknow in early February. Russian Minister of Industry and Trade Mr Denis Manturov was also present at the inauguration.
Singh urged the Russian industry leaders to take advantage of the economic reforms undertaken by the Government of India to give a boost to 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 Singh. He continued that such industrial partnership can also address the after sales support of equipment of Soviet or Russian origin already in service with Indian Defence Forces.