In­dia, Rus­sia Adopt Roadmap

for Ro­bust De­fence Co­op­er­a­tion

India Strategic - - CONTENTS - By Vi­nay Shukla OSCOW.

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

Co­op­er­a­tion (IRIGC-MTC).

“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

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