Russia and India are advancing discussions for the joint production of aircraft weapons and parts, primarily designed for the Indian Air Force (IAF).
Alexander Mikheyev, General Director of Rosoboronexport, Russia’s state-controlled arms exporter, announced the potential collaboration during the Dubai Airshow 2023, Russia’s state news agency RIA reported.
According to Mikheyev, Rosoboronexport is actively discussing the joint production of aircraft weapons with both private and state-owned Indian enterprises, with the goal of integrating these systems into India’s existing aviation fleet.
“We have already signed the corresponding document and now, together with an Indian private company, we are organizing the production of Igla-S MANPADS in India,” Mikheyev told TASS.
Russia also agreed that India could produce individual fighter components locally. Mikheyev highlighted Rosoboronexport’s readiness to adapt to India’s stringent import requirements and partnership conditions under the ‘Make in India’ initiative.
This program, which aims for maximal localization of weapon production and technology transfer, is a key aspect of India’s defense procurement strategy, highlighting India’s intent to be more self-reliant in its defense capabilities.
In August 2023, under the same flagship program, the US granted approval for the manufacturing of F414 jet engines in India, a move aimed at boosting Hindustan Aeronautics Limited’s (HAL) Tejas Mk2 fighter jet project. This approval represented a significant shift in US policy, as critical American technologies are rarely shared with non-allies.