India and Russia signed nearly half a dozen projects that will support the Make in India Programme. Prime Minister Modi has highlighted the decision to manufacture Russia’s Kamov 226 Choppers under the Make in India platform. Kamov is a small, twin-engine transportation helicopter used as a utility vehicle.
This is the first major defence programme that will be started under the programme.
Another defence manufacturing agreement was signed in the private sector- between Anil Ambani’s Reliance Defence and Russia’s Almaz-Antey, to make air defence and radar system. The deal is expected to be valued at $6bn. Apart from these; the two sides haven’t reached any agreement on high technology sharing and high value defence cooperation.
Another major support for Make in India came on civilian energy cooperation with Russia agreeing Indian participation in the construction of 12 nuclear reactor components.
On the defence front, Indo-Russia cooperation is set to enter a new era with India willing to purchase with the objective of developing indigenous base. Russia historically was the largest supplier of military hardware to India But it may push for conclusion of existing defence purchase commitments from India before seriously engaging with defence co-manufacturing.
India aims to develop indigenous defence manufacturing by 2017. The government has designed an offset policy besides tying it with Make in India initiative.
Russian cooperation will take time to pick up. In recent years, Moscow is facing tremendous competition from China, Israel etc in the world market.