NATIONAL

India inks 14 MoUs with Russia for defence support, spares

Military assistance:T-90 Tank Bhishma during the 2018 Republic Day parade rehearsal in New Delhi.File photo

Military assistance:T-90 Tank Bhishma during the 2018 Republic Day parade rehearsal in New Delhi.File photo  

They cover modern T-90 tanks, Pechora air defence systems

In a step forward towards addressing the issue of regular spares and support for Russian military equipment with the armed forces, 14 MoUs were signed between Indian and Russian companies for setting up joint ventures covering a range of equipment from modern T-90 tanks to legacy Pechora air defence systems.

The MoUs were signed during the 5th India Russia military industry conference held during the Defexpo 2020 in Lucknow. They come under the Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) on joint manufacturing of spares in India signed last September for mutual cooperation in manufacturing of spares, components, aggregates and other material related to Russian or Soviet-origin arms and defence equipment.

Lack of timely spares and support has been a constant issue faced by the military, a major part of which consists of Russian defence hardware.

“The first ‘Request for Proposal’ for manufacturing of parts in India under the provision of IGA was also handed over by the Navy to the identified Indian industry,” the Defence Ministry said in a statement. The conference was co-chaired by Dr. Ajay Kumar, Defence Secretary and Oleg Ryazantsev, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade of Russia.

One important MoU was signed between the Bharat Dynamics Limited and the Almaz Antey of Russia for exploring the feasibility of a joint venture in India for the production of various sub systems of “air defence missile systems like Tunguska, Kavadrat, the OSA-AKA, Pechora air defence system as well as the Shilka self-propelled air defence gun system”.

There are also agreements on emerging technologies — Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, blockchain and robotics based on Russian technologies under the proposed Indo-Russian Joint Venture ICT Center of Excellence.

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