India, Russia to conclude negotiations for military platforms
India and Russia have signed a protocol for the roadmap to step-up defence engagement during the annual meeting of the Indian-Russian Intergovernmental Commission on Military-Technical Cooperation (IRIGC-MTC). Both the countries have decided to conclude negotiations for different military platforms soon as they agreed on a roadmap for ramping up bilateral defence cooperation.
- Russia has been one of India’s key major suppliers of arms and ammunition. However, it has been a long-standing grievance of armed forces that supply of critical spares and equipment from Russia takes a long time affecting maintenance of military systems procured from that country.
- The roadmap includes specific activities to be concluded by both the sides, and aims to enhance cooperation in the field of political and military dialogue, besides exercises between the armed forces of the two countries.
- In the meeting, Arun Jaitley conveyed to the Russian side about the importance of having a robust and reliable after-sales support mechanism with regards to the serviceability of Russian-origin equipment.
- Jaitley also talked about the new opportunities for participation of Russian companies in the Indian defence manufacturing sector as part of the ‘Make in India’ programme under the new strategic partnership policy for defence production.
The Indian government last month unveiled a “strategic partnership” model under which select private firms will be engaged along with foreign entities to build military platforms like fighter jets, submarines and battle tanks. Both the sides also agreed to conclude various ongoing negotiations for different platforms as well as restructure the inter-governmental commission to enhance military to military cooperation.
It was the 17th meeting of the IRIGC-MTC. The meeting took place nearly three weeks after Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin decided to “upgrade and intensify” defence ties through joint manufacture and co-production of key military hardware, during their annual summit talks at St Petersburg.