Defence minister Rajnath Singh leading a high-level official and a strong business delegation reached Moscow on Tuesday where he is co-chairing the 19th India-Russia Inter-Governmental Commission on Military and Military-Technical Cooperation (IRIGC-M&MTC) and also inaugurating the first-ever India-Russia Defence Industry Cooperation Conference. His three-day visit starts today.
Both Singh and his Russian counterpart Gen Sergei Shoigu will talk about all issues related to military-to-military cooperation and defence industrial cooperation. Singh during his meeting with the Russian private sector will invite them to invest in Indian Defence Corridors.
As has been reported earlier, Singh and Russian Minister of Industry and Trade Denis Manturov will inaugurate the first-ever 'India-Russia Defence Industry Cooperation Conference', and the two sides will talk about ways of working together and cooperating in the defence industry under the Make in India initiative.
Singh on Tuesday on his arrival in Moscow paid floral tributes to Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi at the premises of Embassy of India.
Besides visiting Russian defence production facilities in and around St Petersburg including the facility of the S-400 system, Singh will place wreath at the Piskarevsky Memorial Cemetery.
During discussions with the defence minister, the Russian side is likely to offer Amur class submarines for the Indian Navy under the P75I through government to government route and talk about the possibility of jointly producing in India under the Make in India initiative.
Since the Indian Air Force (IAF) is set to upgrade its Su-30 MKI fighter aircraft with the latest radars and weapon systems as well as most advanced avionics, and new missiles and precision-guided missiles, this too will be discussed with the Russian side.
The concentration will also be on urging the private sector companies from both sides to jointly design and produce defence platforms and to manufacture spare parts for the various defence equipment of Russian origin being used by the Indian armed forces.
Also on the agenda is the discussion to renew the ten year Long-Term Program for Military and Technical Cooperation which is expiring next year and the two sides are expected to discuss ways of expediting the renewal.
As has been reported earlier both sides will talk of finalising the Agreement on Reciprocal Logistics Support (ARLS), discussions for which have been going on for a long time. Highly placed sources have confirmed that "This is on the agenda and the two sides are expected to close this agreement soon."
The two countries in September this year had inked Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) which gave assurance for business orders for a minimum five years and to have a mechanism in place which would allow collaboration on joint manufacturing of spare parts, and components.
The platforms that have been identified for manufacturing the spares and components for Russian platforms include Su-30 MKI, MIG 29, Mi-17 helicopters, MIG 29 K/KUB, INS Vikramaditya, T-72 and T-90.
The Indian Companies accompanying the minister
There are CMDs of PSUs including BDL, BEML, GSL and Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. Also representatives of 35 top companies including L&T Defence, Bharat Forge Limited, Texmaco Defence, Alpha Design Technologies, Ananth Technologies, Zen Technologies, DRDO Chairman, Chairman of Ordnance Factory Board, Abhyuday Techo Economic Consultants Pvt Ltd, Avinav Consulting, Delta Wallace Technologies, CHW Forge Pvt Ltd, Hyderabad Precision Mfg Co Pvt Ltd and Rossell Techsys are in Moscow.
And senior officials who are associated with the Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh defence corridors are expected to urge the Russian companies to set up manufacturing facilities in the industrial corridors.