India and Russia have agreed to strengthen the already robust military-technical partnership between the two countries, the Indian government's Press Information Bureau (PIB) announced on 13 December.
Following meetings in New Delhi between Indian Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and her visiting counterpart from Russia, Sergei Shoigu, the PIB said the two sides agreed to expand joint manufacturing projects and to work towards the signing of a restructured military-technical accord.
The PIB said talks between the two defence ministers represented the 18th meeting of the India-Russia Inter-Governmental Commission on Military Technical Co-operation (IRIGC-MTC).
According to the PIB, the IRIGC-MTC meeting discussed a "wide range of issues relating to defence equipment, industry, and technological engagement between India and Russia, as well as after-sales support [and] upgrades of military equipment of Russian origin".
The PIB added that in addition to progressing details related to joint projects such as India's proposed programme to locally manufacture Russia's Kamov Ka-226T 'Hoodlum' light multirole helicopters for the Indian military, the two sides also agreed to advance arrangements to facilitate the joint production of spare parts for Russian defence equipment already in service in India.
Localised spare part production, said the PIB, would progress under the Indian government's 'Make in India' initiative.
In addition, the two sides signed an agreement to restructure the existing IRIGC-MTC to encompass what the PIB said would be "military and military-technical co-operation". Under the expanded agreement, a new working group headed by military staff will be established, it said.
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