Wednesday, May 29, 2024

India & Russia Formalise Plan For Local Production Of Russian Defence Equipment Amid Geopolitical Tensions

By Staff Correspondent

India and Russia are deepening their ties in the defence industry by agreeing to produce Russian defence equipment and spare parts locally. This move comes as India faces a territorial dispute with China and the West imposes sanctions on Russia following its invasion of Ukraine. On April 28, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and his Russian counterpart Sergei Shoigu met during a Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit to discuss military ties and industrial partnerships.

India has relied on Russia for up to 60% of its arms purchases, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government aims to establish joint ventures to develop the country’s domestic industry. As part of this bilateral plan, state-run defence entities and private defence firms in India will collaborate with Russian original equipment manufacturers.

However, some experts have raised doubts about the feasibility of this arrangement, citing the varying degrees of cooperation required. Amit Cowshish, a former financial adviser at India’s Ministry of Defence (MoD), suggests that Indian companies could develop products with indigenous designs or in technical collaboration with countries that have both used Russian-origin equipment and have more robust technical capabilities than India.

Meanwhile, retired Indian Air Force (IAF) squadron leader and independent Russian military affairs expert Viajinder Thakur argues that Russian Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) may be unable to help India localise the manufacture of spares. Instead, Indian companies can obtain specifications and drawings from Russia to facilitate local production. Thakur suggests that India’s best long-term option is to localise the production of Russian equipment spares.

Overall, the agreement between India and Russia reflects their commitment to strengthening their defence partnership and their efforts to promote domestic production through the Make in India economic initiative.

Photo Courtesy: Vajiram IAS

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