Russia should share defence technology with India: Jaitley
India on Friday asked Russia to adopt a liberal approach in sharing technology for components of major defence platforms saying it was critical to keep them in operational readiness as most of its weapons systems are of Russian-origin. Calling for deeper bilateral engagement in defence production, Defence Minister Arun Jaitley said Russia should at least facilitate manufacturing of parts and sub systems which are needed in large numbers and where the requirement is recurring in nature.
"Since most of our defence platforms and weapons systems are of Russian origin, their maintenance and life-cycle support is extremely important for us for our defence preparedness," Jaitley said addressing a conference on India-Russia Military and Industrial cooperation.
It was his first public engagement on matters relating to defence after assuming charge of the the key Ministry earlier this week for a second stint.
Two agreements were signed at the conference between India's Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) and Russia's United Aircraft Corporation and United Engine Corporation for long term supply of spares and technical assistance for Sukhoi 30MKI aircraft for five years.
Jaitley said manufacturing of key components for Russian origin military systems in India was important to ensure that the armed forces do not lose critical time in repairing and maintaining these equipment.
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.
Jaitley said India's FDI policy for defence is one of the most liberal in the world and weapons manufacturers from both the countries should join hands, eying the global supply chain besides the domestic market.
"Russian companies can be natural partners for Indian companies as most of our defence equipment and inventory are of Russian origin," he said.
On export of military systems, he said though India is presently not a member of Wassenaar export control regime, it was hopeful of membership soon.
"Our export control processes and technology security mechanism are robust and as strict as required in the interest of national security. I think there is a tremendous scope for collaboration (between defence firms of the two countries) so that they are part of a global supply chain," he said.