India, Russia to discuss increased military ties Monday

September 28th, 2008 - 7:49 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Sep 28 (IANS) India and Russia will discuss increased ties between their militaries at the eighth meeting of the India-Russia Inter-Governmental Commission on Military-Technical Cooperation (IRIGC-MTC) here Monday.Indian Defence Minister A.K. Antony and his visiting Russian counterpart Anatoly Serdyukov will co-chair the meeting. While this is Serdyukov’s maiden visit to India, the duo had met in Moscow during the seventh meeting of the Commission Oct 17-19 when the two countries had signed a landmark agreement on the joint development and production of a fifth generation fighter jet and a multi-role transport aircraft (MTA).

“The meeting will cover a broad spectrum of issues including supply of defence systems, equipment upgrades, product and life-cycle support for defence equipment of Russian origin. Licensed and joint production, joint development and production of systems and platforms, interaction between the two armed forces and military technical cooperation will also be discussed,” a defence official said Sunday.

The two sides will also hold delegation-level talks.

The main agenda during the talks will be the progress on developing the combat jet and the transport aircraft. Discussions are also likely to be held on the additional $1.2 billion has demanded for the aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov that the Indian Navy has purchased for $1.5 billion

“A memorandum regarding the co-development of the fighter aircraft is already in place. But modalities need to be discussed,” another defence official said.

The Indian Air Force (IAF) chief, Air Chief Marshal Fali H. Major, told IANS in August that the fighter jets would be inducted by 2017.

During his three-day stay in India that began Sunday, Serdyukov would be visiting the BrahMos Aerospace Complex in the capital and the Indian Army’s Para Brigade at Agra.

IRIGC-MTC was established in 2000 during the visit here of then Russian president Vladimir Putin to strengthen bilateral defence cooperation. India and Russia are also in talks to extend their military cooperation beyond 2010.

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