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At a recent bilateral summit, Russia and India agreed on a schedule for military-technical cooperation between 2021 and 2031. The agreement was signed by the Head of the Russian Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation (FSVTS), Dmitry Shugaev, and Deputy Minister of Defence of India for military procurement, Kant Rag. According to the Kremlin, the agreement covers military and personnel training, as well as technology transfer and the joint development and production of weapon systems, including those for the third parties.

It looks like the countries have reached a new stage of strategic partnership. According to the Indian Ambassador to Moscow Bala, Venkatesh Varma, the total amount of bilateral defence procurement contracts was around US$2-3Bn in 2018. At present, the volume of contracts awarded amounts to US$14Bn. The figure was disclosed by Dmitry Shugaev who also announced the total volume of Indian defence contracts awarded to Moscow since 1991 has been around US$70Bn.

According to Alexander Mikheev, CEO of the Russian export organisation Rosoboronexport, hundreds of Sukhoi multi-role fighters and over 2,500 MBTs were produced in India. He stressed that India has always been, and remains, one of the key buyers of Russian equipment. He reported that consultations were underway regarding the T-90 upgrade programme. Preliminary tests of several modernised systems and subsystems produced in India have been carried out and are expected to form the basis for respective upgrade measures.

Over 100 R&D efforts are reportedly on the way, “creating a huge reserve for the high-tech industries development in both countries in the future”, Mikheev emphasised.

He also announced, that Rosoboronexport intended to take part in the Indian light tank tender with the SPRUT-SDM1 (OCTOPUS) amphibious tank from the High Precision Weapons Holding.