On Tuesday, Union Minister Rajnath Singh called upon the Russian defense industry to work together to improve India’s defense platforms and manufacture equipment to provide a massive boost to the two nation’s export to third countries. 

The Indian government is encouraging Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) to make use of the “Make in India” initiative, said the defense minister. After jointly inaugurating the ”India-Russia Defence Industry Cooperation Conference” with the Russian Minister of Industry and Trade Denies Manturov in Moscow, Mr. Singh was addressing the CEOs of OEMs from the Russian defense industry. 

He requested the leaders of the industry to make use of the significant economic reforms undertaken by the government under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra to improve ease of doing business and opening up the defense manufacturing sector for foreign participation. 

Mr. Singh stated that “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,” he added.

He is currently on a three-day visit to Russia to co-chair the 19th India-Russia Inter-Governmental Commission on Military and Military-Technical Cooperation. Such industrial partnership may also address ”After Sales Support of Equipment of Soviet or Russian origin” already in service with the Indian defense forces, he added. 

Mr. Singh stressed on 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 in September during the 20th India-Russia Annual Summit at Vladivostok.

He also gave the assurance that India will provide orders for the procurement of agreed quantities at a mutually decided price for a period not less than five years. According to him, the manufacturing under the agreement in India will help to reduce the cost, timelines of the supplies and progressive indigenization 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 production of these spares. We are eager to see several joint industrial activities in India on the basis of the agreement in near future,” Mr. Singh added.

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