Russian defence deals with India
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.”