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Rajnath in Russia: Urges for joint defence manufacturing

Rajnath in Russia: Urges for joint defence manufacturing
Photo: ANI

Moscow: Focusing on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ambitious ‘Make in India’ programme, Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday urged Russian Defence Industry to jointly manufacture defence equipment with India to give a massive boost to the nations’ export to third countries.

The request was made by Rajnath Singh, who is on three-day visit to Russia, while addressing CEOs of Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) from Russian Defence Industry after jointly inaugurating ‘India-Russia Defence Industry Cooperation Conference’ with Russian Minister of Industry and Trade Denis Manturov in Moscow, Russia.

Rajnath Singh said that Indian government was encouraging OEMs to partner with Indian entities making use of the ‘Make in India’ initiative. He urged the industry leaders to make use of the significant economic reforms undertaken by the Modi government, to improve 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,” he said.

The Defence Minister stressed that “India want collaboration with Russia to modernise its defence platforms by advanced and emerging technology. “Indian MSMEs seek footholds in the global supply chains with support from Russian and other foreign companies,” Rajnath Singh said, adding that such industrial partnership can also address ‘after sales support of equipment of Soviet or Russian origin’ already in Service with Indian Defence Forces.

He highlighted 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 was signed between India and Russia on September 4, 2019 during the 20th India-Russia Annual Summit at Vladivostok. The Minister said that the IGA defines broad framework of cooperation for manufacturing of spares in India by way of collaboration between Indian Industry and Russian OEMs.

Rajnath Singh also assured that India will provide orders for procurement of agreed quantities at mutually decided price for a period not less than five years. He expressed hope that the manufacturing under the agreement in India will lead to reduction in cost, reduction in timelines of the supplies and progressive indigenisation 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,” he added.

The Minister also looked forward to his meeting with the Defence Minister of Russia General Sergei Shoigu on November 6, 2019, saying that he hopes to discuss mutual steps to facilitate Russian OEMs to take necessary actions for collaboration with Indian Industry. Rajnath Singh also invited the Russian manufacturers to participate in the forthcoming DefExpo 2020, to be held in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh from February 5-8, 2019.

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