India, Russia discuss licensed production of T-90 tank

August 18th, 2008 - 7:56 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 18 (IANS) An India-Russia working group met here Monday to discuss key military issues like the licensed production in India of the T-90 main battle tank and joint production of a fifth generation fighter aircraft.”Several issues, including the transfer of technology of the T-90 tanks will be discussed during the two-day meeting and some understanding is expected to be arrived at,” a defence official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The meeting of the India-Russia Inter Governmental Commission’s working group on “ship building, aviation and land systems” was its eighth.

Additional Secretary (Defence Production) Ajay Acharya chaired the meeting, which was attended by his Russian counterpart, Igor Karavaev of the department of defence industries.

Delays in the manufacturing of the indigenous Arjun main battle tank and Pakistan’s decision to purchase the T-80 from Ukraine prompted India to order 310 T-90s in 2001. Of these, 186 were assembled from kits at the Heavy Vehicles Factory at Avadi, near Chennai.

An agreement was also signed for the licensed production of another 1,000 T-90s. This, however, is yet to commence due to Russia’s reluctance to transfer technology, prompting India to purchase another 300 tanks from Russia last year.

“Joint production of fifth generation fighter aircraft and licensed manufacturing of Sukhoi-30 MKI by HAL (Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd.) will also be discussed,” the official added.

India and Russia last year signed an agreement on the joint development and production of the jet.

India and Russia have signed an agreement for the transfer of technology and licensed production of 140 SU-30 MKI fighter aircraft, engines and airborne equipment by HAL.

The agreement also provides for setting up repair and overhaul facilities.

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