India and Russia on Thursday agreed to formalise two pacts to further defence cooperation, including extending the Military Technical Cooperation to another decade. The extension pact and another on after-sales product support for defence equipment of Russian origin will be signed during Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit to Moscow later this year.

The contours of the two agreements were finalised between Defence Minister A.K. Antony and his Russian counterpart Anatoly Serdyukov at the India-Russia Inter-Governmental Commission on Military Technical Cooperation that ended on Thursday, a Defence Ministry release said.

The meeting reviewed the status of various ongoing bilateral projects, including the joint design and development of the Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft and the Multi-Role Transport Aircraft.

Both Mr. Antony and Mr. Serdyukov were hopeful that the recent round of consultations between technical experts would result in greater progress in these projects.

Continued support

The Russian side promised continued technical support and technology transfer as per the agreed schedules for the production of T-90 S tanks and the Sukhoi SU-30 MKI fighter jets in India.

Both sides agreed that the cost negotiations for aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov (INS Vikramaditya) would continue to find a mutually acceptable solution. Russia has increased the price and is demanding that $2.2. billion be paid for it.

The Russian aide responded positively to India’s request to expedite proposals for setting up facilities for the modernisation, repair and overhaul of military aircraft, including the MiG-29.

The Indian delegation to the two-day meeting included Defence Secretary Pradeep Kumar, Secretary (Defence Production) Raj Kumar Singh, and other senior officials in the Ministry of Defence and the armed forces.

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