Defence secretary in Russia for talks

IANS

In the backdrop of Russia snubbing India by sending back her warships from Vladivostok without a naval war game, Indian Defence Secretary Pradeep Kumar Monday left for Moscow on a four-day visit during he will review several ongoing joint projects, including the refit of the Admiral Gorshkov aircraft carrier.

Pradeep Kumar will also meet his Russian counterpart when the two sides will hold government-to-government talks on taking forward their defence relations, a defence ministry spokesperson said here.

‘The defence secretary is likely to discuss the issue of scheduling of a joint army exercise between India and Russia that the latter is to host later this year,’ the official said.

Apart from sending back the Indian warships, Russia had also expressed its inability to host the army war game on its soil, citing the short notice given by India.

They will also discuss the progress of the fifth generation fighter aircraft project, a joint effort of the two countries, to supply nearly 300 of these modern combat jets about a decade from now.

The Gorshkov, renamed INS Vikramaditya, is currently undergoing a refit and repair programme at the Sevmash shipyard in Russia and is expected to be delivered to Indian Navy by end of 2012 or early 2013.

India has agreed to pay $2.34 billion for the refurbishing programme of Admiral Gorshkov, bought in 2004 for an initial price of $1.5 billion, but now has to pay up more after the shipyard jacked up the price of the refit programme between 2007 and 2010.

Among other projects to be discussed in the meeting is the medium transport aircraft that the two countries are jointly developing. The Indian Air Force is expected to get 45 of these planes.

Issues relating to supply of spares for Soviet-era military equipment, which form a major portion of Indian armed forces inventory, and technology transfer matters for the T-90 tanks that India is producing at its Avadi-based Heavy Vehicles Factory too are likely to come up in the discussions.

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Posted by pilotpaul on Jun 14 2011. Filed under All News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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