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Thirty-Five Fold Surge: Russia's Role in the Rise of Indian Defence Exports

© AP PhotoVisitors walk past an Indian Brahmos anti-ship missile at the International Maritime Defence show in St.Petersburg, Russia, Thursday, July 11, 2019
Visitors walk past an Indian Brahmos anti-ship missile at the International Maritime Defence show in St.Petersburg, Russia, Thursday, July 11, 2019 - Sputnik India, 1920, 29.04.2024
India and Russia have long cooperated in manufacturing, starting with support from Russia and reaching milestones like producing the MiG-21 jet fighter and culminating in world-class defence exports, signifying a major achievement for India's defence industry in volume and value.
India has seen a remarkable thirty-fivefold increase in the export of arms and defence products over a decade and intends to continue expanding this trend further.
Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh highlighted the achievment at an election rally in Ahmedabad.
"In 2014, we exported defence products worth 6 billion rupees ($72 million), but now this figure has exceeded 210 billion rupees [more than $2.5 billion], and I can say that it will increase," Singh stressed.
Indian Defence Minister said Indian defence production had passed the milestone of 1 trillion INR ($12 billion).

Elevating India's Reputation: Exporting Defence Weapons to Various Countries

“Regarding India's efforts to boost exports to various nations, there are several benefits involved. Firstly, it's advantageous for India in terms of acquiring crucial foreign exchange," said retired Major General Jagitbir Singh, a distinguished fellow at the United Service Institution of India (USI).
"Exporting weaponry allows other countries to utilize Indian weapon systems beyond mere testing, providing valuable operational feedback," he added.
This feedback, according to Singh, “aids in refining and enhancing the equipment based on the experiences and insights of the end-users.”

Singh emphasised that “exporting to various countries necessitates meeting certain quality and technological standards, demonstrating India's capability to produce high-quality equipment that meets global benchmarks."

In turn, the general pointed out, in turn “enhances India's reputation and signifies its ability to adhere to international standards, making its equipment appealing to other nations. Furthermore, securing large export orders contributes to the expansion of India's manufacturing base, thereby augmenting its defence industrial complex and overall economic value”.

India, Russia Collaborative Manufacturing: Pioneering Defence Solutions

“India and Russia embarked on a collaborative journey in manufacturing, traversing various stages of development. Initially, we ventured into producing equipment with support from Russia, where they provided the technology and blueprints. An exemplary milestone was the production of the MiG-21, a technology Russia had reserved even from China,” Singh asserted.
The general indicated that “India, being the recipient of this technology, commenced manufacturing the MiG-21, marking the genesis of our collaboration. Subsequently, we undertook joint manufacturing ventures, including the assembly of aircraft like MiG variants, conducted at our HAL facility in Bangalore”.
“Similarly, tanks and BMPs [infantry fighting vehicles] were assembled from CKDs (Completely knocked down) kits, evolving into SKDs (Semi-knocked down) status, before eventually being wholly manufactured here”, Singh added.
“Moving beyond mere assembly, our partnership advanced into joint design and research phases, where India and Russia made significant strides in developing sophisticated systems,” the general elaborated
“These collaborative efforts have borne fruit, with our jointly developed BrahMos finding markets in various countries such as the Philippines, and garnering interest from nations across the Middle East, such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Armenia, and UAE” he said.

This progress, according to Singh, “signifies a commendable step forward, for both, India and Russia, reaping substantial benefits from our symbiotic manufacturing endeavours”.

“Through shared research, design, and development, we have cultivated a world-class defence export, marking a significant milestone in India's defence industry, both in terms of volume and value” he said.
Brahmos missile  - Sputnik India, 1920, 23.04.2024
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