India and Russia have signed two key agreements for long-term maintenance and technical support for Russian-made Su-30MKI fighter jets of the Indian Air Force.
The agreement was signed on Friday during a two-day India-Russia Military Industry Conference being organised from March 17-18 in New Delhi. The Conference was jointly inaugurated by Defence Minister Arun Jaitley and Minister of Industry and Trade of Russia, Denis Manturov on March 17.
In his inaugural address, Jaitley said relations with Russia are a key pillar of India’s foreign policy and Russia has been India’s long standing time-tested strategic partner since the last 70 years. Jaitley further added that India-Russia Military Technical Cooperation has graduated from a simple buyer-seller relation to one involving joint research, development and production of advanced defence systems. The Minister was of the opinion that there is tremendous potential for collaboration between Indian and Russian companies for export, so as to become part of the global supply chain.
Speaking on the occasion, Manturov said Russia will provide critical support for maintenance of Russian-origin aircraft and military platforms.
About 150 representatives from Russia are participating in the conference which includes over 100 representatives from its defence industry. Major Russian companies include United Aircraft Corporation, United Engine Corporation, RAC MiG, Russian Helicopters and Ural Vagonzavod. From the Indian side over 100 private companies including several SMEs are participating.
The event is organized by Ministry of Defence. The event also marks 70 years of India-Russia Diplomatic Relations.
The conference primarily aims at addressing issues related to life-cycle support and maintenance of SU-30 MKI aircraft, Mi-17 Helicopters, MiG-29K aircraft, INS Vikramaditya and T-90 tanks.
The conference assumes greater significance in the backdrop of the Make in India initiative of Narendra Modi.