India, Russia to boost joint production in defence

Private firms will also be involved in manufacturing spares

India and Russia have agreed on ways to simplify export clearances to take forward joint manufacturing in defence. This was among the various issues discussed during the 18th meeting of the India-Russia Inter-Governmental Commission on Military Technical Cooperation (IRIGC-MTC) chaired by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and her Russian counterpart General Sergei Shoigu on Thursday.

“The two focus areas of the discussions were on further expanding military- to-military and defence industrial engagement between the two countries,” a defence source official said on condition of anonymity.

India is keen on moving from licence manufacturing of defence equipment to joint production under Make in India. This includes allowing Indian companies, both Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSU) and private sector, to manufacture spares for Russian systems in India. “We have worked out some formats for end-use clearances,” the official stated.

Keen on exports

Eventually India is keen that its companies supply components and spares to export to third world countries. “There is a larger shift to that,” the official said.

The two sides also agreed to take forward inter-governmental arrangements for facilitating joint manufacturing of spares for Russian origin equipment in India under the ‘Make in India’ initiative, Ministry of Defence (MoD) said in a statement.

In this regard, four military-industry conferences were held between Russian manufactures and Indian companies to take the process forward.

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