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Russia ready to start Amethi rifles unit

Rajnath Singh (File Photo)
NEW DELHI: Russia is ready to operationalise the Amethi gun factory to manufacture assault rifles for the armed forces and has offered its minesweeper for the naval forces.

The developments took place at a meeting of the India-Russia intergovernmental commission in Moscow. It reviewed all ongoing projects. Sources told ET that progress has been made on several aspects, including a major upgrade for the Su-30MKI fighter jet fleet.

Defence minister Rajnath Singh, who met his Russian counterpart General Sergey Shoigu in Moscow, pushed for joint manufacturing of spares, components and aggregates in India to reduce costs and supply timelines. An industry delegation led by Ficci met Russian equipment manufacturers to identify products for which joint ventures would be formed in near future.

Sources told ET that among the issues discussed, the urgent Indian requirement for minesweepers came up, with the Russian side offering its Project 12701 Alexandrit-E ships under a transfer of technology (ToT) pact with the Goa Shipyard Limited. The navy has an urgent requirement for 12 minesweepers to replace the Pondicherry class of boats that have been decommissioned. On the aviation front, the two sides have agreed to go ahead with an upgrade of the Su-30MKI fleet. With 272 aircraft on order, the upgrade will be one of the biggest of its kind to be carried out. Sources said that it has been agreed that the prototype for the upgrade will be developed in India by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) with assistance from the Russian side.


As reported by ET, the rifles factory at Amethi will soon be operationalised with the lndo-Russia Rifles Private Limited JV to manufacture the Kalashnikov AK 203 rifles. A record 670,000 Kalashnikovs will be manufactured, with the army clearing the technical gates and commercial bid set to be sealed.

Updates on the S-400 air defence system were shared with the visiting Indian delegation but no visit to the manufacturing plant is scheduled for Rajnath Singh.

Officials said that the Russian defence minister has requested for an Indian military contingent for an upcoming army parade to mark the 75th anniversary of the victory in the Second World War and was assured about the participation. General Shoigu also briefed Singh on the Russian operations in Syria and reaffirmed its support in the field of counter-terrorism.
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