India-Russia Defence Cooperation

Defence cooperation is an important pillar of the India-Russia strategic partnership. It is guided by the Agreement on the Programme for Military Technical Cooperation signed between the two countries. The Agreement for 2021-2031 was signed during the inaugural meeting of India-Russia 2+2 Dialogue which was held in Delhi on 6th December 2021. The notification of its entry into force is underway. This Agreement is the interest of the two governments to further develop and strengthen the Military and Military technical cooperation in the sphere of research and development, production and after sales support of armament systems and various military equipment. The two sides also have periodic exchanges of armed forces personnel and military exercises.

India and Russia have an institutionalized structure to oversee the complete range of issues of military and military technical cooperation. The inaugural India-Russia 2+2 Dialogue (set up in 2021) was held in Delhi on 6th December 2021 on the sidelines of Summit meeting. The Dialogue was chaired by Defence Ministers and Foreign Ministers of both the sides. The India-Russia Inter-Governmental Commission on Military Technical Cooperation (IRIGC-MTC), set up in 2000, is at the apex of this structure. The two Defence Ministers meet annually, alternately in Russia and India, to discuss and review the status of ongoing projects and other issues of military and military technical cooperation. The 20th edition of this meeting was held Delhi on 6th December 2021. There are two Working Groups and nine Sub-Groups under the IRIGC-M& MTC, which review and discuss an array of military and military technical issues. Indian Defence Minister participated through a pre-recorded video-message in the Xth Moscow Conference on International Security (MCIS) on 16th August 2022 and presented Indian perspective on Global security in an emerging multilateral world. The conference was held on the sidelines of International Military Technical Forum “Army-2022” in Moscow Region.

Bilateral projects currently underway include licensed production of T-90 tanks and Su-30-MKI aircraft, supply of MiG-29-K aircraft and Kamov-31, upgrade of MiG-29 aircraft, etc.

Over the years, cooperation in the military technical sphere has evolved from a purely buyer-seller relationship to joint research, design development and production of state of the art military platforms. Production of the Brahmos cruise missile is an example of this trend. The joint Venture namely Indo-Russia Rifles Private Limited (IRRPL) has been established and it has started production of AK-203 rifles in India under “Make in India” initiative.

Joint exercises between the three Armed Forces are held under the title "INDRA". Indra Tri-Service exercise was scheduled in September 2022 in Kaliningrard, which is being deferred for 2023. Indian contingent participated in International Army Games held in August 2022 and Ex Vostok held in September 2022 in Russia. Avia Indra is also planned in 2023.