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.
- 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.
- 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.