From buyer of military goods, India wants to become Russia’s ‘development & production’ partner
India is looking at altering the buyer-seller bilateral defence relationship with Russia to that of joint production, but without the recurring issue of royalty, ThePrint has learnt.
India and Russia meet for their maiden 2+2 Dialogue Monday.
Sources in the defence and security establishment said that while India has diversified its sourcing of military hardware from predominantly Russia to other countries, including the US, France and Israel, in the last few years, Moscow will continue to be a partner.
Russia witnessed a 53 per cent fall in arms exports to India even as Delhi’s imports from Paris increased, data from the last five years have shown.
India and Russia are looking at signing a defence logistics exchange pact later in the day when Russian President Vladimir Putin comes calling, besides signing a deal for indigenous manufacture and supply of spare parts used in Russian equipment in service with India.
The sources said that another important development during Putin’s visit will be the inking of an agreement to start production of AK 203 rifles in Uttar Pradesh’s Amethi district, as reported by ThePrint earlier.
There could also be a ceremonial handing over of the S-400 Triumf air defence systems to India, sources said.
The initial deliveries of the first squadron of the S-400 missile defence system have already started and is set to be completed by the middle this month.