India, Russia sign new weapons deals

Last Updated: Mon, Dec 24, 2012 14:50 hrs

New Delhi, Dec 24 (IANS) India and Russia Monday bolstered their military ties by signing weapons deals worth at least $3 billion that included pacts for procuring 42 new Su-30 MKI combat aircraft and 71 Mi-17V5 medium-lift military helicopters.

The defence ties, the bedrock of the India-Russia relations, are poised for a boost with the signing of a military-technical contract for delivery of 42 technological kits for SU-30MKI aircraft which will be assembled by the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).

The deal is estimated to be around $2.2 billion. The Protocol-II on licensed manufacturing of additional 42 SU-30MKI aircraft units was signed during the annual summit in 2011.

Another pact for the delivery of 71 Mi-17V-5 helicopters was signed. Out of this, 59 of the machines would be given to the Indian Air Force while the remaining 12 would be used by paramilitary forces for anti-Maoist operations.

An order for procurement of 59 Mi-17 v5 MLH was agreed to in February 2010, which was subsequently increased to 71.

The deals were signed during the annual summit meeting between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Russian President Vladimir Putin here Monday.

A joint venture agreement for setting up a modern industrial facility for manufacturing Russian Mi and Kamov choppers in India, was also inked between Elcom Systems Private Ltd. and OAO Vertoleti Rassi (JSC Helicopters Russia).

India has diversified its military hardware procurement in the last decade, but Moscow remains New Delhi's top supplier, accounting for more than 60 percent of India's weapons.

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