India, Russia Adopt Roadmap
for Robust Defence Cooperation
MAgreeing to conclude their negotiations on the acquisition of various weapon systems and platforms, India and Russia have adopted a roadmap for the development of their defence cooperation in the years to come.
A protocol to this effect was signed here on June 23 by Defence Minister Arun Jaitley and his Russian counterpart General Sergei Shoigu at the end of the 17th Meeting of the India-Russia InterGovernmental Commission on Military Technical
“In a major outcome, both sides have agreed to a roadmap for the development of bilateral defence cooperation for which a Protocol has been signed. The roadmap includes specific activities to be concluded by both sides, and aims to enhance cooperation in the field of political and military dialogue, exercises, exchange of visits, military cooperation and training of military personnel,” Indian Embassy said in a statement here at the end of Mr Jaitley’s three-day visit.
Describing Jaitley’s parleys with General Shoigu as “productive and held in an atmosphere of warmth and friendship,” the statement underscored India’s military technical cooperation with Russia as one of the key pillars of its relations with Moscow. It was also “agreed to conclude various ongoing negotiations for different platforms”, the Embassy said without elaborating.
According to the Russian media reports ahead of IRIGC-MTC session, the two nations were in the final stages of negotiations on S-400 Triumph long- range air defence missile systems, four modified Krivak ( Talwar) class stealth frigates, at least two of which will be built in India with transfer of technology, joint production of 200 Kamov Ka-226T multi-role helicopters, lease of a second Akula class nuclear propelled submarine, and upgradation of IAF’s Sukhoi Su-30MKI fleet.
Significantly, India and Russia are involved in nearly 200 defence projects, the state-run Sputnik news agency reported.
Mr Jaitley conveyed the utmost importance of having a robust and reliable after-sale support mechanism with regard to serviceability of Russian origin equipment and new opportunities for participation of Russian companies in the Indian defence manufacturing sector as part of the ‘Make in India’ programme, under the new strategic partnership policy of the Government of India.
“We are determined for further strengthening of the cooperation aimed at increasing the combat readiness of our countries’ armed
forces, the exchange of experience in various spheres of military affairs,” Russian Defence Minister Shoigu said at the annual meeting of the commission and also underscored that the military partnership is “an important element and a pillar of Russian- Indian strategic cooperation.”
He also lauded that India was now a full-fledged member of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) which provides for more opportunities for interaction between the armed forces of the two countries in combating terrorism.
India and Russia which together have been involved in the INDRA series of military exercises between their armed forces over a decade, and are now planning first-ever tri-services joint wargames in September in Russia’s Eastern parts facing China.
“Last year, we successfully conducted antiterror and naval exercises. This fall we plan to conduct the first joint tri-services military exercise ‘Indra-2017’ in the Eastern Military District,” Mr Shoigu was quoted as saying by Russian Armed Forces TV ‘ Zvezda’ ( Star).
Defence Minister Arun Jaitley with his Russian counterpart General Sergei Shoigu at IRIGCMTC
Mr Jaitley with General Sergei Shoigu