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In the Midst of the Crisis, Russia Provides an Example of Successful Defense Cooperation with India

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    In the Midst of the Crisis, Russia Provides an Example of Successful Defense Cooperation with India

    Apart from the war in Ukraine, the Russian defense industry since CAATSA (Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act) was passed by US President Donald Trump on August 2 2017, has begun to come under serious pressure, especially in arms export efforts. Russia's position at that time was the second largest arms exporter in the world after the US.

    Realizing the serious pressure from the US, plus most recently pressure and sanctions from the West following the military operation in Ukraine in February 2022, Moscow has implemented a series of strategies to optimize export opportunities for military and defense products, especially to countries that traditionally use standard defense equipment. Soviet/Russian.

    Cooperation patterns in weapons production are now a priority offered by Russia. However, it cannot be denied that there is a perception that Russia seems 'stingy' when it comes to transferring technology to purchasing countries. Is that true?

    JSC Rosoboronexport in a press release (19/10/2023) said that the Russian defense industry is actively offering new cooperation formats to partner countries in line with current global arms market trends.

    “One of the main trends in military-technical cooperation is the increasing global interest in technology partnerships. According to our estimates, the share of such projects will double by 2030 and occupy 40 percent of the entire global arms market,” said Alexander Mikheev, Director of Rosoboronexport.

    Rosoboronexport which acts as Russia's official arms sales agent. has strong competence in launching licensed production, including establishing joint ventures and collaborating with foreign customers. “We have a portfolio of completed and current projects for all services of the Armed Forces,” added Mikheev.

    He gave an example of the defense cooperation scheme that has worked well with India. Rosoboronexport has been fulfilling technology partnership contracts with foreign customers since the first year of its founding. In 2000, Rosoboronexport signed a major contract with India's Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) Corporation to organize licensed production of Sukhoi Su-30MKI fighter jets in India.

    Mikheev then added, in the following year (2001) another contract was signed between Russia and India to produce Main Battle Tanks (MBT) with a license from Russia. 

    Licensing cooperation between India and Russia then also continued in the production of BMP-2 IFV (Infantry Fighting Vehicle) ammunition, 125 mm APFSDS Mango ammunition, and anti-tank missiles launched with Invar weapons, which is part of the existing defense cooperation and technology transfer. running between Russia and India.

    Rosoboronexport also established and managed a joint venture to produce Russian military products in partner countries. 

    The largest and most well-known examples of this type of cooperation are the Russian-Indian joint venture operating for the production of AK-203 assault rifles in India with final local content reaching 100 percent, as well as the joint venture engaged in the modernization and maintenance of the Su-30MKM fighter jet.

    Another well-known form of joint venture is Brahmos Aerospace, which is a joint venture between the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) – India and NPO Mashinostroyenia – Russia. Brahmos Aerospace has been successful in the development and production of the Brahmos cruise missile in several variants.

    Rosoboronexport said that technical assistance in the construction of special facilities abroad was part of technological cooperation. Russian design bureaus and manufacturers have a broad technological base and extensive experience in developing and manufacturing unique military products. 

    As a result, the world market is currently showing strong interest in joint projects with Russia to develop new advanced models of weapons and military equipment. Alexander Mikheev claims that technology partnership projects with abroad are mutually beneficial.

    “On the one hand, the unique competencies of domestic weapons manufacturers are in demand abroad. At the same time, our company is also focused on manufacturing and supplying products to the Russian Armed Forces, which is the main priority at the moment,' said Mikheev.

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