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Why in news?

  • The Indian Defense Minister Nirmala Sitharaman recently met the Russian Defence Minister General Sergei Shoigu at the 18th meeting of India-Russia Inter-Governmental Commission on Military Technical Cooperation (IRIGC-MTC) that was held in New Delhi.

Highlights:

  • In the meeting, a wide range of issues were discussed regarding defence equipment, industry and technological cooperation between India and Russia.
  • Issues related to after sales support and upgradation of military equipment of Russian origin were also discussed.
  • Both the Ministers have expressed their satisfaction at the progress in bilateral defence cooperation between India and Russia.
  • Discussions took place on joint manufacturing projects in the meeting, including the Kamov-226T helicopters, naval frigates and other projects related to land systems.
  • There was also an agreement from both the sides to take forward inter-governmental arrangements to facilitate joint manufacturing of spares for equipments of Russian origin in India, under the ‘Make in India’ scheme.
  • The existing IRIGC-MTC will be restructured to the IRIGC on Military and Military Technical Cooperation.
  • An agreement regarding this was signed by the two Defence Ministers.

IRIGC-MTC:

  • Russia has been the most important arms supplier for India’s Defence forces.
  • Both the countries have an institutionalized structure to oversee all the issues of military-technical cooperation.
  • The IRIGC is at the top of this institutionalized structure.
  • The India-Russia Inter-Governmental Commission on Military Technical Cooperation (IRIGC-MTC) was set up in 2000.
  • The First meeting of the IRIGC-MTC was held in Moscow in 2001.
  • The 19th IRIGC meeting is proposed to be held in Russia next year.
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