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DefExpo 2018: Indian and Russian firms sign 7 deals for defence hardware

T E Narasimhan/Chennai 13 Apr 18 | 07:05 PM

Photo: Twitter@DefExpoIndia

As a result of year-long talks between the governments of India and Russia on availability of spare parts for defence equipment this country had bought from there, seven agreements were signed between Indian and Russian companies on Friday at the Defence Expo in Chennai, for indigenous manufacture.

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The ministry of defence had identified 48 items covering all major platforms which can be made in India with Russian collaboration. The products to get support include helicopters, aircraft and naval systems.

In the Third India-Russia Military Industrial Conference between the two countries, held at DefExpo 18, the Indian manufacturers and Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) from Russia had discussion on the final aspects before the signing.

Larsen & Toubro signed one deal for various programmes of the navy and for Future Ready Combat Vehicles (FRCV) and rockets' co-production on Indian territory. Ananth Technologies signed an agreement for opto-electric sighting and navigation for Su-30MKI aircraft. Ananth also signed one to to set up technical and logistics support in India for the T90-S and T72 tanks in service with the army.

Russian Company JSC AGAT signed agreements for after-sale support and modernisation of the Fregat radar, installed on Indian naval ships.

Ajay Kumar, secretary, defence production, said the first meet was in Delhi in March 2017, to address the issue of maintenance and lifecycle support of Russian-origin defence platforms in India, by facilitating production of spare parts in the country. Several procedural issues related to transfer of technology, setting up of joint ventures (JVs), intellectual property rights, and others have been discussed.

Four platforms - 231 Mark-I aircraft, INS Vikramaditya, MiG-29K aircraft and Mil Mi-17 helicopters - were identified for manufacturing of components and spares in India through transfer of technology, partnerships and JVs with the Russian OEMs.

At the second conference in August 2017, as many as 39 Indian companies and 32 Russian ones were engaged in discussion, apart from the Indian and Russian authorities. The armed forces in India and Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd undertook an exercise, to identify Indian industry partners which could manufacture the specific spares and components. The list was shared with the Russian counterparts and further discussion has been held by industry representatives from both sides.

The new deals would pave way for transfer of technology for some identified spares and there would be concerted effort for more such initiatives, it was stated.

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