Russian aviation chief predicts that India and Russia will be the third global aviation hub

November 14th, 2007 - 2:35 am ICT by admin  
Speaking in an interview with ANI after both countries had signed an agreement for the joint production and development of the Fifth Generation of Fighter Aircraft (FGFA), Alexei Fyodorov said the pact redefines the relationship between old friends from being a seller-buyer one to that of being equal partners.

He said that the strategic implication of the deal is that India and Russia would jointly challenge the hegemony of European and American markets in the aviation industry.

“We need to be stronger in the global market. India and Russia have to be the third centre of aviation industry in the world. We have centres in US and second one in Europe. If we cooperate with each other, we can establish a new third centre of aviation industry. Its very good opportunity and very good challenge,” said Fyodorov.

The government-owned corporation oversees the management of aircraft construction companies and state assets engaged in the manufacture, design and sale of military, civilian, transport, and unmanned aircraft.

Fyodorov disclosed the thinking and idea behind the FGFA deal, which was signed at the end of the Seventh India- Russia Intergovernmental Commission for Military and Technical Cooperation in the presence of Indian Defence Minister AK Antony and his Russian counterpart Anatoly Serdyukov on October 18.

Fyodorov said that work on the project is slated to begin in 2008 and finish by 2010.

“We will produce this aircraft stage by stage because of many changes, specially in aeronomic weapons. We need to upgrade these aircraft stage by stage because I think they will be produced with the same technical specifications, but with higher combat characteristics,” elaborated yodorov.

He said that in terms of defence cooperation, India and Russian were at the third stage following the recent agreement. He said that the first stage of the cooperatio was when the Russians supplied readymade aircrafts like Mig 25 and Sukhoi 7 thirty years ago and the second stage of cooperation was the licensed production of Russian aircraft in India, including the MiG21, MiG27 and the Sukhoi MK1.

“Now, we are moving towards “mutual development, mutual cooperation and mutual marketing of Sukhoi aircraft in the domestic and the global market. I think it is very important, I hope that in the future we will sign one more inter-governmental agreement…it’s a new generation of our relationship,” remarked Fyodorov.

India is one of the biggest buyers of Russian weapons and wants to license the production of Su-30MKI fighter jets and T-90 tanks. Russian shipyards are also building three frigates for the Indian Navy.

India and China together account for nearly 90 per cent of Russia’s arms exports, which totalled 6.4 billion dollars in 2006. Exports are expected to reach 7.5 billion dollars this year.

Russia’s new generation fighter will be finished by 2012-2015, Putin said, during his annual televised question and answer session last Thursday.

The two countries agreed to improve cooperation in arms development and production after Putin made an official visit to India earlier this year. By Sanjay Kumar (ANI)

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