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India, Russia to firm up futuristic aerospace projects

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NEW DELHI (BNS): India and Russia are set to hold crucial talks on further firming up their cooperation in several next generation aerospace projects. Among them are the proposed partnerships in a fifth generation fighter, Glonass satellite system and next generation BrahMos cruise missile.

Russian defence minister Anatoly Serdyukov who arrived last evening in the Indian capital would also visit the headquarters of Brahmos Aerospace, the Indo-Russian joint venture partnership making world’s only cruise missile.

Serdyukov and his Indian counterpart AK Antony would hold the eighth meeting of the India-Russia Inter-Governmental Commission on Military- Technical Cooperation (IRIGC-MTC) here on Monday. A spokesperson for the MOD said “a broad spectrum of issues including supply of defence systems, equipment upgrade, product and lifecycle support for defence equipment of Russian origin” would be reviewed during the meeting.

“The meeting will also discuss licensed and joint production, joint development and production of systems and platforms, interaction between the two armed forces and military technical cooperation,” the spokesperson said.

During the meeting, the two sides would further firm up India’s proposed partnership in the fifth generation fighter programme, which is already under development in Russia based on a Sukhoi design. From the Indian side, the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited and Air Force would have a key role, along with the Defence Research and Development Organisation.

The two sides would also fine-tune their partnership in Glonass, the Russian global navigation system based on a network of satellites similar to America’s GPS. India is a partner in the crucial project, and could be expected to launch some of the satellites for Glonass in the near future.

According to a senior official, Serdyukov would also be briefed about the plans for developing a hypersonic version of BrahMos cruise missile that would fly at over five times the speed of sound. The Russian minister would visit the BrahMos headquarters located in the Delhi Cantonment.

The inter-governmental commission, IRIGC-MTC, was established in 2000 by India and Russia in a unique effort to boost and firm up their historic defence times. “Since the establishment of a strategic partnership between the two countries in 2000, the two governments have steadily developed and strengthened bilateral cooperation covering a range of areas of which defence forms a significant component,” a government statement said.

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