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India, Russia to Further Boost Bilateral Defence Cooperation
‘- Vinay Shukla
November 6 (DishaMoscow) — India and Russia have agreed to further boost their defence cooperation through technology transfer and enhancing military-to-military cooperation in the changed global scenario.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh arrived in the Russian capital on Tuesday on a three-day visit and is accompanied by a 50-member delegation comprising of public and private defence producers.
Today co-chairing the 19th session of the Indo-Russian Inter-Governmental Commission on Military & Military Cooperation (IRIGC M&MTC) in Moscow the defence ministers of the two countries described their bilateral defence cooperation as “successful” as India remains Russia’s biggest arms importer and the two countries are regularly holding Indra series war games.
However, the two countries have expanded the ambit of their cooperation beyond arms trade and added new dimension of military-to-military interaction.
Russian Defence Minister General of the Army Sergei Shoigu, opening the joint session said:
«Today’s meeting is being held in a new format — we consider issues of cooperation in the military and technical areas. During the work, we will sum up the results of joint activities over the past period and fix the priorities in the protocol, the draft of which was prepared by our experts», — General Shoigu said.
He said that India is one of Russia’s key partners in the military and technical spheres, and relations between the countries are strategic.
«We have just had a detailed conversation with the minister of defence of India in a narrow format and discussed issues of mutual interest. Such meetings on the eve of the plenary session of the Commission have become a good tradition», — Sergei Shoigu stressed.
According to Mr Singh, in order to increase the pace and scope of cooperation with the Russian Armed Forces, the Indian side decided to restructure its part of the Intergovernmental Commission.
According to media reports Defence Minister Rajnath Singh was expected to request General Shoigu to speed up the deliveries S-400 missile system ahead of original schedule (October 2020 – April 2023) as there were delays in making advance payments due to US sanctions on arms trade with Russia. New Delhi is also interested in extending the lease of nuclear attack submarine INS Chakra till the new Akula class nuclear submarine is ready for delivery in 2025 under USD 3 billion deal signed in March. The original lease of INS Chakra is expected to expire in 2022.
Earlier reports suggest that Mr Singh is likely to visit St. Petersburg to see the Almaz-Antei Company’s facilities working on Indian order of S-400 missile systems to be deployed along border with Pakistan and China and capable of destroying the hostile attacking aircraft even before they enter into Indian air space.
Transfer of Technologies
Earlier on the first day of his visit Mr Singh presided over the Indo-Russian Defence Industry Conference along with the Russian Industries & Trade Minister Denis Manturov attended by the Indian business and Russian defence OEM representatives to set up joint ventures in India for the production of spares and critical components under Make in India route through transfer of technology.
“We understand the strategic policy of India and we are ready to develop our partnership transferring the technologies on production and repair of the military and civil equipment to the Indian enterprises. Expanded industrial cooperation has not only mutually beneficial economic aspects, but it will also create inextricable technological ties between our counties,” Minister Denis Manturov underscored.
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