During the 20th India–Russia Annual Summit held in Vladivostok-which was attended by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin-an India-Russia Joint Statement was issued. The Joint Statement mentioned that India-Russia close cooperation in military and military-technical fields was a pillar of their bilateral Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership. The two countries expressed their satisfaction with regular military contacts and joint exercises of the Armed Forces of the two countries.

India and Russia expressed their commitment to upgrading their defence cooperation, including by fostering joint development and production of military equipment, components and spare parts, improve the after-sales service system and continue holding regular joint exercises of the Armed Forces of the two countries. The two countries agreed to take forward ongoing engagement to encourage joint manufacturing in India of spare parts, components, aggregates and other products for maintenance of Russian origin Arms and defence equipment under Make-in-India program through a transfer of technology and setting up of joint ventures.

In the Joint Statement, the two countries aspired to create favourable conditions for further development of bilateral cooperation between their Armed Forces and recognised the requirement of an institutional arrangement for reciprocal provision of logistic support and services for the Armed Forces. The two countries also agreed to prepare a framework for cooperation on reciprocal logistics support.

After meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Narendra Modi remarked: “Even in the strategic areas like defence, today’s agreement on the manufacturing of spare parts of Russian equipment by Joint Ventures of both the countries in India will promote the industry. This agreement and the joint venture of the AK-203 earlier this year are steps that are giving our defence cooperation a solid foundation of co-manufacturing outside the limited environment of Buyer-Seller”.

In November 2019, Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh visited Russia and highlighted the significance of the Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) on Mutual Cooperation in Joint Manufacturing of Spares, Components, Aggregates and other material related to Russian or Soviet Origin Arms and Defence Equipment that was signed between India and Russia on September 4 2019, during the 20th India-Russia Annual Summit at Vladivostok. He said that the IGA defined broad framework of cooperation for manufacturing of spares in India by way of collaboration between Indian Industry and Russian Original Equipment manufacturers. “We will soon share with the Russian side the list of spares and items, proposed to be manufactured in India. I hope that Russia will identify the OEMs in the next few months who can partner in production of these spares. We are eager to see several joint industrial activities in India on the basis of the agreement in near future,” the Indian Defence Minister said.

A day later, Rajnath Singh co-chaired the 9th India-Russia Inter-Governmental Commission on Military and Military Technical Cooperation (IRIGC-M&MTC) meeting along with Russian Defence Minister General Sergey Shoigu. The Indian Defence Minister highlighted the importance of the Inter-Governmental Agreement on manufacturing of spares, components and aggregates in India through joint ventures that would reduce cost, timelines of supply and result in progressive indigenisation. This agreement is expected to provide a major boost to the ‘Make in India’ initiative.

On December 23 2019, the Indian Ministry of Defence formulated a set of guidelines which provide a framework for “various activities towards the realisation of contracts” under the IGA. As per the guidelines, Indian military service headquarters and state-owned defence industrial enterprises will be required to propose a list of parts and components that will be built in India under the IGA.

The guidelines state that parts selection will be based on the “justification of necessity” and the “commonality of requirements”. Upon meeting the requirement, Indian and Russian state enterprises would be encouraged to form partnerships and joint ventures.