Moscow: India should assure Russian companies that it will buy their India-made spares and not go for cheaper purchase from a third country to address its armed forces long grievance of delays in procuring critical defence equipment from Moscow, a top Russian official has said.
Viktor N Kladov, director for international cooperation and regional policy, Rostec, a state-owned Russian defence and industrial group, said Russia has chalked out a strategy to build technical service centres in India dedicated for specific equipment.
"India has bought a lot of Soviet and Russian made defence equipment and a bulk of these equipment requires modernisation, upgrade and repair and this can be done in the country (India).
"The way to address this problem is to set up facilities with our partners. We also need assurance from the Indian side that their products will be used by the end user," Kladov said here.
It has been a long-standing grievance of the Indian armed forces that supply of critical spares and equipment from Russia takes a long-time, affecting maintenance of military systems procured from Moscow.
Terming it a "complicated issue", Kladov said Rostec was cooperating with Indian defence ministry to address the problem and manufacturing company Russian Helicopters plans to create service in India on the principle of "one window", which will simplify and accelerate the work in this direction.
"This is a pilot project and India is the first country where it is being implemented. India is interested in the implementation of this project, as it is operating the largest fleet of Russian helicopters," he said.
Russia has been a major supplier of military platforms to India. Kladov said Rostec companies were interested in increasing the efficiency of after-sales service and simplifying the procedures for supply of spare parts to India.
"About a year ago, the Government of Russia decided to grant the right to a number of major Russian defence industry companies to directly conduct after-sales service, repair and modernisation of previously delivered military hardware.
"Now Russian Helicopters, United Engine Corporation, Techmash, Schwabe and High-Precision Weapons can directly interact with Indian customers on these issues," he said.
Kladov noted that the very sophisticated defence equipment needed to be addressed in a specific workshop and licensed parts and spares should be used and technology of repair should be controlled by the manufacturer and the chief designer of the products.