India-Russia move towards co-production of defence equipment

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Russia and India are increasingly moving towards joint-production of military equipment, and away from a typical buyer-seller relationship, indicating a significant level of improvement and mutual trust in bilateral relation, Sushma Swaraj, India’s Minister of External Affairs said. She was speaking at a press conference on Sunday highlighting the foreign policy achievements of the Narendra Modi government’s first year in office.

“Our military-technical cooperation with Russia was based on a ‘buyer-seller’ relationship – they sold arms, and we bought them,” she said. “But this (cooperation) has now changed. Russia has decided to produce weapons in India, as well as to jointly manufacture arms with us, transferring the corresponding technologies.”

India has been increasingly seeking co-production of defence equipment and transfer of technology, including sophisticated technologies like building fighter jets, submarines, missiles and tanks, as part of the government’s ‘Make in India’ initiative. The defence sector is a major area in which the government hopes to make a success of manufacturing in the ‘Make in India’ programme.

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