MOSCOW, DELHI INTENSIFYING MILITARY-TECHNICAL COOPERATION

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Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov’s visit to India finished on Wednesday. The results of this visit show that military-technical cooperation between Moscow and Delhi has reached а new level.

Firstly, Russia and India have signed а range of contracts to sell the Admiral Gorshkov heavy aircraft-carrier to the Indian Navy for over $1.5 billion. Sergei Ivanov stated that India will pay hard currency for the aircraft-carrier. Indian Defense Minister George Fernandes stated that this is а historical contract.

Secondly, Russia and India have reached an agreement to continue cooperation in creating а ground infrastructure for the aircraft-carrier. To all appearances, Russia will build а simulator of the aircraft-carrier’s runway for training Indian pilots.

Thirdly, Russia and India will continue cooperation in the tank sector. There were rumors that Ukraine, which produces the T-80U, would be able to weaken Russia’s positions in India. However, Sergei Ivanov stated that Russia is prepared to sell additional tanks to the Indian Army if necessary (India has already purchased 130 T-90 tanks). The Russian defense minister noted that Russia currently supplies spare parts for producing these tanks in India. He also stated that Moscow also plans to conclude а contract to upgrade the T-72 tanks, which India had purchased from the USSR. The total cost of а contracts to sell T-90S tanks to India and launch production of these tanks in India under Russia’s license is $700 million.

Fourthly, Russia and India will realize aircraft contracts. Mr. Ivanov said that Russia supplies the Su-30MKI fighters to Delhi. It is not ruled out that these fighters will be produced in India.

The Russian defense minister did not rule out the sale of the Tu-22M3 bombers to India.

He noted: “We discussed this issue during negotiations.” Mr. Ivanov noted that “these naval warplanes are not strategic”. The Tu-22M3 bomber is designed for destroying targets using supersonic guided missiles and bombs, including nuclear.

In addition, Russia will supply 16 MiG-29K fighters and а unique complex for training pilots (simulators and interactive systems) to India until 2008. А representative of the press service of the MiG corporation noted that the contract to sell the MiG-29K shipborne fighters to India was signed after seven years of rivalry with foreign aircraft corporations.

He noted: “The sum of the contract exceeds $700 million.”

Fifthly, Moscow and Delhi will continue creating missiles, including the BrahMos, which was added to arsenals of the Russian and Indian Navies.

The Russian defense minister said that “Russia and India will realize joint projects in the future. We will produce high-technology products, including space complexes and missiles.”

Mr. Ivanov stated that the BrahMos cruise missile has already been tested and added to arsenals of the Russian and Indian Navies. The defense minister stated: “This is an up-to-date cruise missile, which does not have rivals in the world.”

The cruise missile was created by the BrahMos joint venture established by the Mashinostroyenie scientific and industrial enterprise (Russia) and DRDO (the Indian Defense Ministry). Serial production of the missile will be launched in Russia and India. Moscow and Delhi plan to export the missile to foreign armies. Investment in the project amounted to $240 million.

Sixthly, Russia will continue training Indian servicemen. Sergei Ivanov stated: “The process of training of Indian servicemen in Russia continues. High schools of the Russian Defense Ministry have trained over 10,000 specialists of the Indian Armed Forces. At present 100 Indian officers study in Russia.”

In other words, Sergei Ivanov’s visit has shown that India orients to using Russian weapons. Military-technical cooperation between India and Russia has reached $33 billion since 1960. Meanwhile, Russia had to win several tenders in order to be able to sign new contracts. Cooperation with India will bring in $2 billion to Russia in the near future. It should be noted that cooperation between Moscow and Delhi in the civil sector is not as active and fruitful.

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