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After Modi-Putin meet, Russia scouts for private Indian players to make defence spares

The new agreement will be a bonanza for Indian defence companies since Russian equipment constitute about 70 per cent of Indian military assets.

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New Delhi: With India and Russia agreeing to start manufacture of spare parts and components of Russian military equipment used by the Indian military, Moscow has begun scouting for private defence players here to start a partnership under the Make in India initiative.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Vladimir Putin had agreed on the venture during their wide-ranging talks Wednesday in the Russian city of Vladivostok. The governments of both nations have signed an agreement on the cooperation.

ThePrint had earlier reported how manufacturing defence spares was likely to be one key area of their talks.

Top defence sources told ThePrint that Russia will now fast-track their talks with possible Indian partners. They added that several firms have already been in talks with potential partners since 2016 when former defence minister Manohar Parrikar had proposed a similar collaboration.

The sources added that Russia was eyeing partnerships especially in the aviation sector.

The Indo-Russian agreement has not only paved the way for production of spare parts, components, aggregates and other products for maintenance of Russian origin arms and defence equipment but also a transfer of technology and joint manufacture of assets.

Bonanza for Indian defence firms

The new agreement will be a bonanza for Indian defence companies since Russian equipment constitute about 70 per cent of the former’s military assets. Industry sources said this agreement has the potential of having business that will run into several thousands of crores.

One of the main problems facing Indian forces has been servicing and maintenance of military equipment — spare parts are in short supply and have to be imported from Russia. This also means lower serviceability ratio of products since servicing of most equipment are due for longer duration, severely impacting war-fighting capabilities of the forces.

“One of the main focus in this agreement would be production of spare parts for Russian aircraft like the Su30 MKI,” said a defence source.

The Su30 MKI has been plagued by maintenance issues due to severe scarcity of spare parts. The availability ratio of India’s frontline fighter aircraft Su-30MKI, for instance, is below 55 per cent. This means that for every 100 Sukhoi fighters in India’s stable, less than 55 are available for operation at any given point of time.

Lack of available spare parts had also pushed India to source spares for Su-30MKI fighter aircraft directly from France and Israel due to shortage of Russian-origin parts. The original equipment manufacturer (OEM) for Su-30MKI in Russia had a shortage of spares and faced problems in sourcing them from Belarus and Ukraine.

Also read: India to receive Russian S-400 Triumf missiles by 2023, despite threat of US sanctions


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    • In fact no private sector company will be on the list. The left wing socialist Sarkar will ensure that PSUs will monopolise all contracts, ensuring things remain as they are, as far as defence manufacturing is concerned. Back again to imports because PSUs just won’t deliver.

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