Big Boost to Indian Defence: India, Russia Sign 14 MoUs during DefExpo

DefExpo 2020

New Delhi. In a big boost to Indian defence sector, the reently concluded DefExpo 2020 in Lucknow witnessed the inking of 14 MoUs 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 fifth round of India-Russia Military Industrial Conference (IRMIC) was conducted on the sidelines of Defexpo-2020 in Lucknow on February 6 co-chaired by Indian Defence Secretary Dr Ajay Kumar, and Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade of Russian Federation Oleg Ryazantsev where the MoUs were exchanged between the Russian Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and the Indian companies.

The two sides discussed the Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) on the joint manufacturing of spares in India which was signed at Vladivostok, Russia on September 4, 2019.

The IGA provides a framework for the partnership of Russian OEMs with the Indian industry for the manufacturing of spare parts of Russian origin equipment in use by the Indian Defence Forces.

Russia reaffirmed its active participation in the collaborations under the ambit of the IGA. It also said that it will take all necessary steps to facilitate the manufacturing of parts in India.

The representatives also discussed the way forward to achieve the objectives of IGA under the Make in India initiative.

The MoUs come under the 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.

Saying India has taken a number of steps to expedite the collaboration with Russian companies, Dr Kumar called for expeditious implementation from the Russian side as well which has some procedural issues to sort out. 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.

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. Several such support agreements are in the pipeline and expected to be concluded soon, officials said.

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