India today asked Russia to adopt a liberal approach in sharing technology for components of major defence platforms saying it was critical to keep them in operational readiness as most of its weapons systems are of Russian-origin. Calling for deeper bilateral engagement in defence production, Defence Minister Arun Jaitley said Russia should at least facilitate manufacturing of parts and sub systems which are needed in large numbers and where the requirement is recurring in nature.
“Since most of our defence platforms and weapons systems are of Russian origin, their maintenance and life-cycle support is extremely important for us for our defence preparedness,” Jaitley said addressing a conference on India-Russia Military and Industrial cooperation.
It was his first public engagement on matters relating to defence after assuming charge of the the key Ministry earlier this week for a second stint.
Two agreements were signed at the conference between India’s Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) and Russia’s United Aircraft Corporation and United Engine Corporation for long term supply of spares and technical assistance for Sukhoi 30MKI aircraft for five years. Jaitley said manufacturing of key components for Russian origin military systems in India was important to ensure that the armed forces do not lose critical time in repairing and maintaining these equipment.