Speaking at the Technoprom-2017 conference in Novosibirsk, Union defence minister Arun Jaitley invited Russian companies to collaborate with Indian companies to jointly produce weapon systems and military platforms under 'Make in India.'
Russia, as India's oldest defence partner has a comparative advantage in realizing the potential for defence production under Make in India, he further added.
Let's see how Russia can help!
Why is Russia important for India?
Russia is one of India's oldest friends and largest defence partners. Defence equipment procured from Russia, including aircraft carrier INS Vikrant in the immediate post-independence years was pivotal in building India's defence capabilities.
India and Russia have further been working towards finalizing defence deals worth $10.5 billion including joint ventures for manufacture of Kamov-226 T helicopters and Admiral Grigorovich-class stealth frigates.
What did Jaitley say?
Jaitley noted, "India has a long-standing and wide-ranging cooperation with Russia in the field of military technical cooperation which has graduated from a simple buyer-seller relationship to one involving joint research and production of advanced defence systems."
He further added that Indian companies can help Russians establish "a large industrial base and supply chains" through means including technology partnerships and joint ventures.
Jaitley's Russia visit
Jaitley is currently undertaking three-day Russia visit.
He was expected to hold discussions with Dmitry Rogozin and General Sergey Shoygu, Russia's deputy PM and defence minister respectively, in a bid to finalize a number of pending defence deals.
Jaitley along with Rogozin, co-chaired the first bilateral science and technology commission meeting. He is also expected to attend the inter-governmental commission on military-technical cooperation.
Where are India-Russia ties headed?
While India-Russia ties have more-or-less stayed strong over time, they have transformed from ideological and natural affinity to transactional affinity.
Moreover, India views Moscow's growing friendship with Pakistan and China as a disregard of its strategic concerns.
Despite geopolitical considerations, India-Russia ties are likely to continue strong in the future, enabling India to boost defence production under 'Make in India'.