India and Russia sewed up defence deals worth around US $4 billion on Monday as Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived in New Delhi for a brief visit.
The first contract signed was for delivery of 71 Mi-17V 5 helicopters, while another dealt with delivery of 42 technological kits for SU-30 MKI aircraft licensed production.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh called Russia a key partner in India’s efforts to enhance its defence preparedness. “A number of joint-design, development and production projects are underway. We expressed satisfaction that these projects are progressing well,” Singh said.
Calling defence cooperation a major pillar of the India-Russia partnership, the two sides also took note of the progress made in the joint development and production of high-technology military equipment and projects. Both sides also discussed measures to ensure expeditious delivery of aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya to India.
On the Koodankulam project, Singh said: “Construction of Unit 1 of the project is now complete and power generation will commence shortly. India appreciates deeply the support extended by Russian engineers and scientists.”
The other pacts signed included an MoU on cooperation in science, technology and innovation and MoU to promote direct investment.
The Russian side raised concerns over Sistema. It has 56.68 per cent stake in Shyam Sistema Teleservices (SSTL), 21 of whose 22 licences were cancelled by the Supreme Court as part of its 2G spectrum order.