India, Russia to boost defence ties

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh with Russian President Vladimir Putin duirng a meeting in Moscow on Monday.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh with Russian President Vladimir Putin duirng a meeting in Moscow on Monday.

Describing their defence relations as “a crucial element of the strategic partnership,” India and Russia vowed to enhance cooperation in the key areas of rocket, missile and naval technologies.

Following his talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said Indo-Russian defence ties were “unmatched by any other relationship” and Russia “will remain a key defence partner for India as we move into a stage of joint design, development and production of key defence platforms.”

In a joint statement issued at the end of the 14th Indo-Russian summit, the sides announced plans “to enhance cooperation in the fields of rocket, missile and naval technologies and weapon systems.”

Ahead of the summit, India and Russia agreed to extend indefinitely their 15-year-old partnership for producing the Brahmos supersonic anti-ship missile and to develop a still more potent hypersonic version of the missile.

The joint statement welcomed the completion of trials of the Vikramaditya aircraft carrier, the delivery this year of the Trikant frigate, the sixth stealth frigate Russia has built for the Indian Navy, as well as licensed production of the Su-30MKI fighter plane and T-90S tanks. The sides also noted progress in the construction of the fifth-generation fighter aircraft and multi-role transport aircraft.

Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, who oversees the defence industry, said India and Russia will discuss plans for further cooperation in aviation technologies and shipbuilding when Defence Minister A.K. Antony visits Russia next month for the commissioning of the Vikramaditya aircraft carrier and an annual meeting of the Intergovernmental Commission for Military-Technical Cooperation.

“We have drawn up a comprehensive package proposal in the sphere of helicopters and aircraft that should be of interest to India,” Mr. Rogozin told reporters on the sidelines of the summit. “We will also discuss plans for building new surface warships and submarines.”

India and Russia have also agreed to enhance cooperation in space technologies.

“We have decided to set up a new working group for Glonass [Russia’s equivalent of the U.S. Global Positioning System],” Mr. Rogozin said. “We have offered India to partner us in the Glonass programme and to set up two Glonass ground control stations in India.”

India is the only country to which Russia has agreed to give access to Glonass military-grade signals, which will enable the Indian military to greatly improve the accuracy of its land-, sea-, air and space-launched weapon systems.

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Printable version | May 18, 2022 6:35:17 pm |