Moscow/New Delhi: India and Russia today decided to step up military ties as they sought to firm up a multi-billion dollar deal for the new generation Russian S-400 Triumf anti-ballistic missile system and possible leasing of a second nuclear submarine besides other deals.
Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, who is in Moscow for the India-Russia Intergovernmental Commission for Military-Technical Cooperation (IRIGC-MTC), signed a military-technical cooperation agreement with his Russian counterpart Sergei Shoigu.
Defence Ministry sources said Parrikar’s efforts are to firm up major contracts that could be signed during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Moscow in December.
While sources remained tight-lipped about the negotiations for the Triumf missile systems, they said a government to government deal could very well be signed during Modi’s visit.
If India signs the deal, it would be the second customer of the prized missile system after China which had struck a USD 3 billion contract earlier this year.
The S-400, an upgraded version of the S-300, had previously only been available to the Russian defence forces. The S-400, manufactured by Almaz-Antey, has been in service in Russia since 2007.
The air defence system is capable of firing three types of missiles, creating a layered defence, and can simultaneously engage 36 targets. It has the capability to destroy incoming hostile aircraft, missiles and even drones at ranges of up to 400 km.
Another key plan is the leasing of a second nuclear submarine.
In 2012, India had leased a 12,000-tonne Akula-class nuclear-powered attack submarine, the INS Chakra, for a ten-year period.
Defence sources confirmed that talks have been on for leasing of a second nuclear submarine.
Parrikar also set the stage for the inking of an agreement with Russia during Modi’s visit for the manufacture of 200 Kamov 226T helicopters in India under the ‘Make in India’ initiative.
India also raised the issue of serviceability ofSukhoi-30MKI fighter jets and sought for a smooth and reliable supply of spare parts and systems.
The meeting was attended by representatives of the Security Council of the Russian Federation, the Office of the Russian Government, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Industry and Trade as well as federal service on military and technical cooperation of Russia.
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