Rus­sian de­fence deals with In­dia

SP's MAI - - MILITARY -

Rus­sia is to sup­ply In­dia with com­bat he­li­copters and war­planes worth $2.9 bil­lion un­der deals signed dur­ing Rus­sian Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin’s visit to New Delhi re­cently. “We have agreed to fur­ther strengthen our part­ner­ship in the sphere of mil­i­tary co­op­er­a­tion,” Putin said af­ter a meet­ing with the In­dian Prime Min­is­ter Dr Man­mo­han Singh.

Un­der the deals, In­dia will buy 42 Sukhoi Su-30 fighter jets and 71 MiL Mi-17 he­li­copters. The two coun­tries also signed a num­ber of co­op­er­a­tion agree­ments in the de­fence and tech­nol­ogy sec­tors dur­ing Putin’s one-day visit, his first to South Asia since his re­turn to the Krem­lin in May.

In­dia is now the world’s largest arms im­porter and Rus­sia­made mil­i­tary equip­ment make up some 70 per cent of In­dia’s arms pur­chases. But Moscow has lost out on a num­ber of deals to West­ern coun­tries in re­cent years. Boe­ing was cho­sen last month by In­dia over Rus­sia’s MiL plant for a ma­jor heli­copter con­tract.

New Delhi has ex­pressed dis­sat­is­fac­tion with a deal in the de­liv­ery of the air­craft car­rier Ad­mi­ral Gor­shkov, which is be­ing re­fur­bished by Rus­sia for the In­dian Navy. Rus­sia was due to de­liver the ves­sel in 2008, but work has dragged on and the price has dou­bled to $2.3 bil­lion.

Putin said he wanted to see an­nual trade turnover be­tween Rus­sia and In­dia dou­ble from the cur­rent $10 bil­lion in the coming years. “Our trade turnover has over­come the con­se­quences of global cri­sis, and in 2012 we ex­pect to reach record num­bers, over $10 bil­lion. Our next goal is to reach $20 bil­lion by 2015.”

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