Igla-s Man-Portable Air Defense System Could Be Next Big Deal With India: Dmitry Shugaev

The defense partnership was a major topic of discussion at the bilateral summit with Russia. Dmitry Shugaev, the head of Russia’s Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation (FSMTC), speaks with Manu Pubby about the AK 203 deal, the possibility of an additional 50 SU 30MKI fighters, and joint Brahmos missile exports. Excerpts:

Russian Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation (FSMTC) chief Dmitry Shugaev
Russian Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation (FSMTC) chief Dmitry Shugaev

On Monday’s Intergovernmental Commission Meeting

One of our most important strategic partners is India. We summarized our cooperation with Indian partners for 2020-21, outlined future plans, and signed a number of intergovernmental agreements and important contracts, some of which, I hope, will become foundational in our future cooperation with India.

The signing of a contract for the joint production of AK-203 assault rifles was one of the most significant and long-awaited events. It is worth noting here that the assault rifle is superior to its Western counterparts in technology and is also very competitive in price.

On the Brahmos programme

We are now seeing the results of our first and successful cooperation with India. The BrahMos company is planning to start exporting missiles to third countries, which is an indisputable proof of success.

On additional Su-30MKI fighters

We are discussing the further licensed production of the Su-30MKI in India. It’s about an additional 50 fighters. Russian Federation is present in almost all areas of arms exports to India that includes ground, naval, armored, air, air defense equipment and much more.

On future projects

We envisage cooperation with the Indian side both in the supply of weapons and military equipment, and in joint production, as well as in the joint development of weapons and military equipment. I would like to emphasise that sales with India is about 25 percent of our total arms exports.

One of the important contracts that we expect to sign soon is for the supply and licensed production of Igla-S man-portable air defense missile systems in India. This means that we transfer the production licence and supply the necessary components to the Indian side.

On US sanctions and use of the dollar

Despite the blatant and crude attempts by the United States to violate the sovereign rights of independent states to ensure their own security, our military-technical cooperation system operates with high efficiency.

Earlier, we managed to work out measures to counter the sanctions pressure from the US and its allies. These measures make it possible to effectively protect both Russian arms manufacturers and our foreign buyers. 

We use an individual approach to each of our partners, create convenient terms and conditions in contracting, and provide flexible settlement schemes for transactions, including the use of national currencies, thus entirely avoiding settlements in dollars.