First ever joint In­dia-Rus­sia Air Force ex­er­cise to be held in 2014


Meet­ing just two days af­ter the suc­cess­ful com­mis­sion­ing of the much-awaited air­craft car­rier INS Vikra­ma­ditya into the In­dian Navy, In­dia and Rus­sia agreed to ex­pand the range of their strate­gic part­ner­ship in a sig­nif­i­cant man­ner at the 13th Meet­ing of the In­dia-Rus­sia In­ter-Gov­ern­men­tal Com­mis­sion on Mil­i­tary Tech­ni­cal Co­op­er­a­tion (IRIGC-MTC) which was co-chaired by the De­fence Min­is­ter A.K. Antony with his Rus­sian coun­ter­part Sergey Shoigu in Moscow.

The meet­ing de­cided that the two coun­tries will hold joint Air Force level ex­er­cise for the first time be­sides a joint Navy Ex­er­cise in the Peter the Great Bay in the Sea of Ja­pan, both in 2014. It may be re­called that the Ar­mies of the two coun­tries had re­cently held ex­er­cise In­dra in Ra­jasthan re­cently and the fo­cus was on anti-ter­ror­ism. The two Min­is­ters agreed that there is a need for fur­ther co­op­er­a­tion at all lev­els, es­pe­cially in view of the re­gional and global chal­lenges and to fight the men­ace of ter­ror­ism jointly. Both sides re­viewed the sit­u­a­tion in West Asia, es­pe­cially in Syria and the evolv­ing par­a­digm in Afghanistan.

In or­der to give a new im­pe­tus to the re­la­tion­ship which has gath­ered mo­men­tum over the years, the two sides agreed that the time has come to ex­pand the co­op­er­a­tion not only in prod­uct de­sign and de­vel­op­ment, which has made sig­nif­i­cant progress over the years but also to in­volve var­i­ous ech­e­lons of the de­fence es­tab­lish­ments in strate­gis­ing poli­cies and co­op­er­a­tion in the fast chang­ing global se­cu­rity sce­nario.

Re­fer­ring to fifth-gen­er­a­tion fighter air­craft and the multi-role trans­port air­craft Antony said, the two projects are sig­nif­i­cant be­cause they sym­bol­ise go­ing-past the re­la­tion­ship of buyer-seller. He said both sides must give their best at all phases of the ex­e­cu­tion of th­ese two projects-de­sign, de­vel­op­ment and pro­duc­tion.

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