A total of 14 leading Russian naval design bureaus and companies are due to take part in the premier Indian defence exposition, Defexpo India 2016, scheduled to begin on March 28. This is the ninth year of the international arms exhibition, being held this year in Quitol, Goa. The Russian delegation will be headed by Alexei Rakhmanov, President of United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC).

At the Defexpo, USC will showcase a variety of surface ships and non-nuclear submarines of various classes. These include the Amur 1650 (a non-nuclear submarine with air-independent propulsion), Project 636 (a large diesel-electric submarine), Piranha and Piranha-T (small submarines), and various surface ships of different types and functions; landing, escort, patrol, minesweeping and coastguard. Of particular interest will be the Project 22356 (a multirole frigate) and Project 10750E (a harbour minesweeper), both of which will be on display.

The USC’s participation in the international Defexpo India 2016 exhibition is because of the continuing interest from India and other countries of the region in cooperation with Russia in naval engineering. USC brands such as Sevmash, Admiralty Shipyards, Zvezdochka Shipyard, Yantar Shipyard, Rubin and Malachite design bureaus, and so on, have traditionally been strong in the Indian market. Their representatives have already flown to India, with plans to discuss progress on the implementation of current contracts with their partners, representatives of India’s Defence Ministry and Navy, and major government and private shipyards, and to draw up and enter into new contracts.

A new trend in relations between Russia and India is becoming increasingly noticeable, with the former expanding its participation in the latter’s ‘Make in India’ programme. For Rosoboronexport, the state-owned company that controls 85 percent of Russia’s exports of arms and military equipment, the programme offers a variety of options for cooperation. These include building Russian-designed ships at Indian shipyards and integrating equipment and systems made in India and elsewhere outside Russia with them.

Russia’s experience in building aircraft carriers is much in demand, particularly those developed at Sevmash, where the Admiral Gorshkov was converted into the ‘Vikramaditya.’ These are being used in designing and equipping an aircraft carrier currently being built in India. Rosoboronexport and Russian design bureaus are also assisting the Indian Navy with designing and equipping its Project 14A and 15B destroyers and Project 17 frigates.

Like the International Maritime Defence Show held in St Petersburg last summer, Defexpo India 2016 exhibition will doubtless serve to strengthen defence cooperation and ties between Russia and India.