In an interview with the agency “Sputnik” on the eve of India’s Independence Day, Russian Ambassador to India Alexander Kadakin reminded that Russia occupies a unique and leading place in the field of direct supplies and joint production of arms and military equipment for various purposes in India.
Today, the Indian Navy and the Air Force have 80% and 70%, respectively, of their equipment from Russia. No other country in the world has such collaboration with India.
Cooperation in this area is based on a long-term programme of military-technical cooperation for 2011-2020, which consists of more than 20 intergovernmental agreements. The total amount of contracts signed by India with Russia is over 35 billion dollars, more than with any other country.
The programme of modernization of the Indian armed forces envisages bulk imports of modern weapons running into tens of billions of dollars, and Russia holds a key position in India’s priorities. This sphere of Russian-Indian cooperation is characterized by the highest degree of confidentiality and trust. The situation, said the Russian ambassador, is determined not so much by the plans or even individual target contracts as by the overall accomplished deals and joint projects for the future that are already being implemented. For example, the best supersonic missile in the world "BrahMos", which has already been inducted into service in India is at the same time being adapted for use by all kinds of troops, including air force and submarine fleet, or the fifth-generation fighter and multifunctional transport aircraft. A whole range of other initiatives and proposals for prospective projects are also being considered.
Russia, said Ambassador Kadakin, readily shares technologies with India and focuses on joint production of military hardware. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s initiative to launch a nationwide program "Make in India" offers great opportunities for closer cooperation between Russian and Indian companies. Russia's participation in this programme is primarily seen in the establishment of joint ventures in India in areas that have traditionally formed the basis of bilateral cooperation in the military-industrial as well as in civil production. It is about promoting projects such as the creation of medium multipurpose transport aircraft, fifth generation fighters, and production of components for the MC-21 aircraft. The ambassador emphasized that Russia pins high hopes on the production of the modern and highly prospective helicopter Ka-226 that it will be marketing together with Indian partners. Proposals are under consideration for the construction of ships and submarines, production of latest tanks and other modern military-technical equipment that has interested Indian partners. Joint production is intended not only with state corporations, but also with major private companies.