Moscow: An important agreement for a continuous supply of spares, along with maintenance and repairs of the defence equipment, supplied by Russia to India. Independent work groups will be created by Russia to cooperate with India for the after-sales support to be provided to India, for the weapon systems purchased from Russia. This agreement was signed following the discussions between Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh reached Russia on Tuesday, for a three-day visit and sources informed that he discussed many issues related to the Indo-Russian bilateral cooperation, during the visit. This also included a meeting of the ‘India-Russia Inter-Governmental Commission on Military and Military-Technical Cooperation’. The agreement was signed after the discussions with the Russian Defence Minister, during the meeting.
This agreement is known as a significant stage in boosting the ‘Make in India’ policy. Russia has assured all the possible cooperation to increase the Indian military strength through this agreement. The agreement mentions that the spares and other factors necessary for the Russian defence equipment supplied to India will be manufactured in India. Both countries will be setting up joint ventures for this purpose.
During Defence Minister Rajnath Singh’s visit, Russia also assured that the work on India-Russia Rifles Private limited would even start soon. The project envisages manufacturing AK-203 rifles. Russia has granted permission to manufacture nearly 750 thousand guns. It has been decided that various steps will be taken to strengthen the defence cooperation between the two countries and a cooperation policy will be formulated for the decade 2021 to 2030.
Russia has expressed interest in the project, to build six submarines, with India jointly and has expressed willingness to modernise the Sukhoi-30 MKI fighter jets in the Indian Airforce fleet. India is said to have appealed to Russia to expedite the supply of S-400, the air defence system. Russia is known as the most significant defence supplier of India.