Russian Defence Industry Seek GoI Ratification Of Their Engagements With Private Indian Defence Firms

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Anupama Airy


While showing a keen interest in taking the ‘Make in India’ initiative further with Indian defence firms, the Russian defence industry has asked the Indian government to put in place some kind of a ratification mechanism (that is actually not a guarantee but some kind of official government backing) for its engagements with the private defence companies of India.

In one of the largest meet between the Indian and Russian defence industry that saw participation of more than 100 Russian and over 150 Indian industry representatives recently in New Delhi, the Russian side conveyed that it expects the GoI to identify the Private Industry partners for them.

“Indian side is prepared to give them a list of potential partners, but the final selection is to be done by Russia,” said a senior official from the Department of Defence Production under the Ministry of Defence (MoD).

“The Russian side expects GoI to provide some kind of guarantees on the Indian partners, while there is no policy provision for such guarantees…. As per Russian IPR laws, there are issues of technology transfer to individuals,” the official said.

Another senior MoD bureaucrat who attended the conference said, “These issues will require resolving. Russians are used to dealing primarily with the ordnance factories and to some extent the defence PSU, where they work on assured orders. Stepping out of that comfort zone into the competitive private world is what meets the psychological headwinds.”

Stating that this kind of a platform is the first of its kind, the official added that somewhere down the line market forces will help in providing the thrust hopefully!

The aim of the ‘India-Russia Military Industrial Conference’ — organised by the Department of Defence Production in the Ministry of Defence from March 17 to 18, 2017, was to primarily address issues related to lifecycle support and maintenance of major Russian origin equipment/platforms such as SU-30 MKI aircraft, Mi-17 helicopters, MiG-29K jets, INS Vikramaditya and T-90 tanks.

In a statement, the Indian Defence Ministry said Russian firms showed keen interest in taking ‘Make in India’ further by involving Indian firms in the process of providing after-sales support of Russian origin equipment to the Indian Armed Forces through long-term supply agreements, repair, overhaul and manufacturing of some spare parts and components.

Major Russian companies, such as United Aircraft Corporation (UAC), United Engines Corporation (UEC), United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC), Russian Helicopters and Ural Vagonzavod made detailed presentations on the possibilities of cooperation and the way forward in this regard.

On its part, the Department of Defence Production outlined opportunities under ‘Make in India’ and recent initiatives by the Government of India, facilitating co-development, co-production, license production, Long Term Service Agreement between Indian and Russian companies.

The Russian side presented the framework for interaction between Federal Services for Military Technical Cooperation (FSMTC) and Indian partners in the field of After Sales Support of Russian origin Military equipment.

The conference also had three breakout sessions on Aero System, Land System and Naval System where the Indian side expressed their requirements and the way forward to improve serviceability of Russian origin platforms. A large number of Indian and Russian companies were present during these breakout sessions.

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