Big bang for Make in India: Russia to build 200 helicopters




In a big bang push for ‘Make in India’ campaign, Russia is set to jointly manufacture 200 Kamov Ka 226 light utility transport helicopters with Asia’s third largest economy.

The joint manufacturing, with its promise of technology transfer, is set to provide a ballast for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Make in India’ campaign, which aims to improve manufacturing in India and is heavily dependent on the defence sector to give the required thrust to the campaign.

“Joint manufacture of 200 helicopters in India is big bang. If two countries decide to manufacture 200 helicopters in India with transfer of technology, and licence production, this is big bang,” said India’s Ambassador to Russia P.S Raghavan in Moscow.  He added that Russia and India are also in talks to manufacture Russian submarines and ships in India. This would give further impetus to India’s efforts to indigenize its defence sector.

Russia is the biggest supplier of military weapons to India, accounting for over 60 percent of the total procurement made by India.

In 2014, India relaxed its rules to let more foreign investors in the defence sector in India where FDI in defence was raised from 26 percent to 49 percent, where up to 49 percent there is no need for clearance from the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS). Anything above the prescribed 49 percent ceiling needs the approval of the CCS.

Reports of vibrancy of India-Russia defence ties getting eroded were rubbished by the Indian envoy to Russia. India and Russia have made progress towards jointly building a fifth generation fighter aircraft.   India-Russia defence ties have moved beyond buyer-seller relationship to that of co-production and co-development, which signifies trust in this sturdy multi-faceted strategic partnership.

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