Antony to undertake three-day visit of Russia


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Jun 29, 2009
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Antony to undertake three-day visit of Russia

New Delhi: Defence Minister A K Antony will undertake a three-day visit to Moscow from October 13 to attend the Ninth meeting of the India-Russia Inter Governmental Commission on Military Technical Cooperation (IRIGC-MTC).

The IRIGC-MTC meets annually, alternately in India and Russia, at the level of the Defence Ministers of the two countries to review and discuss matters relating to the bilateral defence cooperation between the two countries.

The meeting will be held on October 14 and 15, and will be chaired by Antony from the Indian side and by Defence Minister AE Serdyukov from the Russian side.

The extension of the existing India-Russia Long Term Inter-Governmental Agreement on the programme for Military Technical Cooperation for a further 10 years, from 2011 to 2020, will be the main focus of discussions during the meeting of the commission.

India and Russia had concluded an agreement in December 1988 which envisaged a programme for defence cooperation between the two countries up to the year 2010.

The extension of this programme beyond 2010 has been under consideration and this matter had also been discussed by the Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh during his meeting with President Putin in Moscow in 2007.

Both sides have, since, been working towards finalising the programme for defence cooperation beyond 2011. The anticipated discussions at the commission level would pave the way for conclusion of the Agreement during Dr Singh’s forthcoming visit to Russia in December 2009 for the Summit meeting between him and President Medvedev.

In addition to the consideration of new areas for potential defence cooperation between the two countries, both sides will also be focussing on ways to step up progress in important on-going projects which are expected to reach significant stages of activity in the coming years.

The indigenous production of the Russian origin T-90 S tanks at the Heavy Vehicles Factory, Avadi, under license from the Russian side will be one of the major on-going projects, in which the Russian side is providing technical and product support for the indigenous production of tanks.

The modernisation of the SU 30 MK1 aircraft is also expected to come up for discussion in the Commission’s meeting. The aircraft, contracted in 1996, are due for overhaul shortly and the Russia side have offered an upgrade of the aircraft with incorporation of the latest technologies during the major overhaul.

The continuation of the India Russia Joint Venture BrahMos is also likely to be discussed, in the context of on-going discussion for the development of the next generation hypersonic Cruise Missiles – BrahMos-2 and the on-going proposal to coordinate the BrahMos with the SU 30 MK1.

Among the major new projects which will be high in priorities of the Indian agenda for bilateral defence cooperation between the two countries, will be projects for joint design and development of the Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA) and of the Multi-Role Transport Aircraft (MTA).

The co-development and co-production of the FGFA with Sukhoi Design Bureau Russia has been progressing, with several rounds of discussion already completed to finalise the technical requirements.

During discussions in the meeting of the Commission, Shri Antony would highlight New Delhi’s interest in ensuring that the development phase of the FGFA is completed by 2016, as originally anticipated and that induction of the aircraft into the IAF can start by 2017.

Both sides will also review the progress on the MTA, on which the Inter-Governmental Agreement had been signed during the visit of Dr Manmohan Singh’s to Moscow in November 2007.

Both sides have been discussing the formation of the Joint Venture company which would execute the project involving design, development and production of the Medium Transport Aircraft in the 15-20 tonne class to meet the requirements of the Russian and Indian Armed Forces. Both sides are likely to conclude the Agreement to form the JVC shortly.

The Defence Minister’s delegation to the IRIGC-MTC will include Defence Secretary Pradeep Kumar, Secretary (Defence Production) R K Singh, DG (Acquisition) S K Sharma, senior officials of DRDO, Ministry and the Armed Forces.

A Protocol incorporating the various aspects of current and future Indo-Russian bilateral defence cooperation will be signed at the conclusion of the meeting.
Feb 16, 2009
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India, Russia to ink new military pact

India, Russia to ink new military pact - India - The Times of India

India, Russia to ink new military pact

NEW DELHI: The US might be the new kid on the block, with Israel and France already well-entrenched, but India is

keen to keep its
long-standing military ties with Russia on the right track despite glitches, time and cost-overruns in
defence deals.

India and Russia will extend their `strategic and military partnership' by another 10 years when PM Manmohan Singh holds a summit meeting with President Dmitry Medvedev in Moscow this December.

The groundwork for inking of the fresh inter-governmental agreement on military-technical cooperation, to extend the partnership right till 2020, will be laid when defence minister A K Antony visits Moscow next week for talks with his Russian counterpart Anatoly Serdyukov.

Russia will remain India's largest defence supplier for some time to come, with ongoing arms contracts and projects in the pipeline worth well over a whopping $15 billion.

The relationship will only head further north since India has shown interest in acquiring more Russian military hardware and software. This, for instance, includes 50 more Sukhoi-30MKIs to add to 230 of these `air dominance' fighters already contracted for over $8.5 billion, as also an additional 29 MiG-29Ks for $1.12 billion after the first 16 of these maritime jets were bought for aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov.

Then, of course, there are three crucial joint R&D projects. One, the Sukhoi T-50 PAK-FA fifth-generation fighter aircraft (FGFA), whose overall development costs are pegged by Russia to be around $8-10 billion.

"During the October 14-15 meeting, Antony will emphasis India's interest in ensuring FGFA's development is completed by 2016 and IAF can begin inducting it by 2017,'' said an official.

Two, the $600 million multi-role transport aircraft (MTA) project, under which India will induct an initial 45 planes, while Russia will get 100 and another 60 will be sold to other countries. "An MTA joint venture company between Hindustan Aeronautics and Ilyushin will be established soon,'' he said.

And three, development of 290-km-range `hypersonic' BrahMos-2 cruise missiles (5 to 7 Mach speed) after the successful development of its `supersonic' (2.8 Mach) version. Incidentally, work is also in progress now to integrate BrahMos-1 missiles on Sukhoi-30MKIs.

All, of course, is not hunky dory in the expansive Indo-Russian military relationship. With the Soviet-era `friendship prices' having vanished into oblivion, Russia now demands -- and often gets -- top dollar from India.

Fierce wrangling over the huge escalation in Gorshkov's refit cost has been there for all to see. India is now likely to pay a staggering $2.6 billion to get the 44,570-tonne carrier by 2012-2013.

Under the original $1.5 billion package deal signed in January 2004, India was to get Gorshkov by August 2008 for $974 million, with the rest earmarked for 16 MiG-29Ks.

India remains worried about Russia not sticking to delivery schedules, creating roadblocks in technology transfer, jacking up costs midway through execution of agreements and failing to provide proper product support.

India, of course, realises only Russia will be ready to supply it with some `sensitive' stuff. Sometime early next year, for instance, India will get the K-152 Nerpa Akula-II nuclear-powered submarine from Russia on a 10-year lease as part of a secretive 2004 deal.

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