India invites Russian defence firms for joint manufacturing
Showcasing India's new policy initiatives to facilitate tie-ups, Defence Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday invited Russian firms to come forward with proposals for technology transfer to Indian companies and facilitate joint manufacturing of advanced military platforms.
Addressing the plenary of TECHNOPROM 2017, a leading forum for technological development, Jaitley said Russian defence majors which already have a long experience of working in India are well placed to take advantage of the policy changes effected to encourage tie-ups between Indian and foreign companies.
The defence minister, who is in Russia on a three-day visit beginning Wednesday, said Indian companies are already gearing up by developing capabilities for design and development of military systems.
"I invite Russian companies to come forward with proposals for technology transfer to Indian companies and facilitate manufacturing of more advanced components/parts and sub-systems. This can start with platforms of Russian origin where the requirement is in large numbers and is recurring in nature," he said.
"We have initiated a series of policy and procedural changes to facilitate tie-ups, including joint ventures and technology partnerships between Indian and foreign companies.
"Russian companies, which already have a long experience of working in India and working with India are well placed to take a leading role in this process," he said.
In a major step towards defence indigenisation, the Indian government last month unveiled a "strategic partnership" model under which select private firms will be engaged along with foreign entities to build military platforms like fighter jets, submarines and battle tanks. "In the days to come, we hope to fully harness the energies, entrepreneurial spirit and enterprise of the private sector in the area of defence manufacturing.
"Here again, Russia as India's largest, oldest and most trusted partner in defence hardware and equipment, would have a comparative advantage in partnering with Indian companies for realising 'Make in India' potential in defence production," Jaitley said.
On June 23, Jaitley will co-chair the 17th meeting of the India-Russia Inter-Governmental Commission on Military- Technical Cooperation with his Russian counterpart General Sergei Shoigu.
Russia has been one of India's key major suppliers of arms and ammunition. However, it has been a long-standing grievance of armed forces that supply of critical spares and equipment from Russia takes a long time affecting maintenance of military systems procured from that country.