In an effort to further cement their growing military relationship, India and Russia on Monday inked defence deals worth $3 billion.
At the end of talks at the 13th India-Russia Annual Summit between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and visiting Russian President Vladimir Putin here, the two leaders hailed cooperation, as officials inked a $1.6 billion deal for India to purchase 42 Sukhoi Su-30 fighter jets and a $1.3 billion contract for the delivery of 71 Mil Mi-17 military helicopters.
Under one contract Ė worth around $ 2.2 billion for licence production of 42 Su-30MKIs Ė Russian firm Rosoboronexport will deliver technical kits to the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) to assemble them in India.
ďHALís total responsibility for this supersonic multirole aircraft has now gone up to 222. This will further boost our confidence and operations as we have already delivered 119 Su-30 aircraft to the Indian Air Force (IAF)," said Dr RK Tyagi, Chairman, HAL
With this contract, the number of Su-30MKIs in the IAF would go up to 272 in next four to five years with 170 of them already at present in the force. Also, 157 Indian vendors are involved in providing 13,350 components of the aircraft while another 19,450 components are manufactured at HALís Nasik and Koraput Divisions,
A joint venture agreement was inked between Elcom Systems Private Ltd. and OAO "Vertoleti Rassi" (JSC "Helicopters Russia"), which aims to set up a modern industrial facility for manufacturing Russian Mi and Kamov helicopters in India. Under the contract for 71 Mi-17V5 helicopters, 59 of the machines would be given to the IAF while the rest of the 12 machines would be used by paramilitary forces in their anti-Naxal operations. These helicopters would be used by the IAF to replace its existing fleet of the older versions of Mi-17 and Mi-8 aircraft in its inventory.
Moscow has been worried recently by New Delhi's increasing preference for Western suppliers, especially after Boeing's Apache helicopter was chosen last month over Russia's MiL plant for a major helicopter contract.
In the recent past, India has also been unhappy with delays in deliveries of some naval equipment, especially the aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov, which is being refurbished for the Indian Navy at Russia's Sevmash naval yard. This was originally expected to be delivered in August 2008, and has now been pushed to the end of 2013, while the price has more than doubled to $2.3