India and Russia adopted a roadmap for defence cooperation on Friday, building on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Russia earlier this month. The two sides have taken forward their defence partnership to concretise deals on frigates, S-400 air defence missile system and Kamov helicopters, people familiar with the matter said.
Defence Minister Arun Jaitley, who is in Russia this week on his second visit since April, co-chaired the 17th meeting of the India-Russia Intergovernmental Commission on Military-Technical Cooperation (IRIGC-MTC) on Friday with his Russian counterpart, General Sergei Shoigu.
“We are determined to go ahead with building cooperation in order to enhance the combat readiness of both countries’ armed forces and to exchange experience in various defence-related matters,” Shoigu said at a meeting, according to Russian news agency Tass.
The Russian minister, according to Tass, said that in accordance with the agreements experts from both sides drafted a roadmap for the development of military cooperation, which will become the basic document for planning bilateral defence engagements. Jaitley and Shoigu discussed the final shape of defence deals that include S-400 Triumf air defence missile systems, four Krivak class stealth frigates and Kamov 226T helicopters.
Ahead of Modi’s visit to St Petersburg for the annual summit, a special arrangement was made to make Indo-Russia defence projects work around the sanctions. Under the arrangement, India is understood to have waived banking guarantee clause mandatory for securing defence contracts in India. Instead India accepted a sovereign guarantee from Russia.
Earlier this week Jaitley spoke at the newly established India-Russia High-Level Committee on Science and Technology in Novosibirsk to discuss cooperation in high technologies and emphasised on bilateral cooperation with India moving closer to Wassennar membership. In March, Jaitley had invited Russian companies to share some critical technologies with India and produce defence equipment in India.
The next month he said that both the countries had started serious discussions with Russia for setting up another defence manufacturing unit under the ‘Make in India’ programme. India and Russia have identified 485 lines for transfer of technology (ToT) to support the Su-30 MKI fleet. A total of 20 Indian vendors have been introduced to Russia to find out the feasibility of ToT by Indian vendors.
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