Moscow/New Delhi: While the United States, Israel and European countries are trying to create a share in the Indian defence market, its longstanding traditional friend Russia has forwarded new proposals, under the ‘Make in India’ initiative. Senior Russian officials indicated that if India agreed, Russia was prepared to manufacture Lada-class attack submarine and Su-57 advanced fighter jets in India, under the ‘Make in India’ initiative. The proposals that were presented during the visit of the Indian Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa to Russia become significant.
Only last month, the Indian Defence Ministry had published tenders for the manufacture of six attack submarines under the ‘Project-75 I’. Russia was revealed to be in the race for the bid, along with three European countries. Vladimir Drozhzhov, a senior official from the Russian Defence Ministry, acknowledged the information. Also, Drozhzhov clarified that if India accepted the Russian proposal, the development of six submarines would be undertaken jointly by India and Russia, and the assembly would be done in India itself.
Russia has initiated talks with two government undertakings and one private company, in India and they include Larson and Toubro along with Hindustan Shipyard and Mazagon Docks. Furthermore, India has already declared that the project for the six submarines, would be based on the Strategic Partnership Model and it had a cost outlay of ₹ 450 billion. Therefore, the Russian preparedness for joint development and manufacture of the six submarines in India, under the Make in India initiative, assumes much significance.
Moreover, Russia has shown interest in manufacturing the Su-57, known as the Fifth Generation Fighter jet in India, over and above the submarines. The fighter jet is currently, in the testing phase in Russia. India has shown interest in the Russian fighter jet even in the past but had withdrawn because of certain technical faults. However, both Indian and Russian officials indicated that the project had not been entirely shelved. The Indian sources had clarified that India might participate in the project once again, after assessing the capabilities of the fighter jet, once the Su-57 was inducted into the Russian Air Force.
Before the two ambitious projects, India and Russia had signed agreements for the manufacture of Kalashnikov rifles and T-90 tanks. Russia has also proposed the supply of MiG-35 fighter jets, against the recent Indian tender for procurement of 110 fighter jets. At the same time, Russia indicated that the advanced S-400 missile defence system would soon be delivered to India.