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79th IAF anniversary celebrated in Moscow

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Sarang Helicopter. Photo PTI

MOSCOW (PTI): The small community of the Indian Air Force's technical teams based here, and their Russian partners, got together to celebrate with enthusiasm the 79th anniversary of the IAF.

Speaking at the reception organised by the Air Wing, Indian Ambassador Ajai Malhotra lauded the commendable service of the IAF in ensuring the security of the nation.

Greeting Russian officials and engineers of various aircraft manufacturers, he reminded that this year the IAF anniversary coincides with the golden jubilee of Indo-Russian cooperation in military aviation.

"Fifty years ago Russia had delivered first Mil Mi-4 helicopters and Antonov An-12 aircraft to the IAF," Malhotra reminded.

He thanked Russian engineers and designers for devoting their entire life on Indian projects under the bilateral Indo-Russian military technical cooperation.

At the recent meeting of the intergovernmental military- technical cooperation co-chaired by Defence Minister A K Antony and his Russian counterpart Anatoly Serdyukov the two sides had expressed satisfaction at the pace with which the IAF's most ambitious Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA) project is progressing, under which the two nations are to jointly design and manufacture the futuristic stealth fighter.

According to Russian experts the experience accumulated during the Sukhoi Su-30MKI project in 1990s when Russian designers and IAF engineers worked 'hand and glove', paved the way for such technically challenging futuristic project like FGFA.

Besides FGFA, multi-role transport aircraft (MTA), the MiG-29 fighter modernisation, further development of Sukhoi Su-30MKI mainstay multi-role fighter to 'Super Sukhoi' are some of the projects tailored to enhance India's air power.

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