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India, Russia to hold talks on military ties today

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NEW DELHI (PTI): India and Russia will hold detailed discussions today on deeper military cooperations, especially on joint production of fifth generation fighter aircraft, upgradation of Su-30 MKI planes and firming up the contract for the S400 Triumf air defence system.

Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu will co-chair a meeting of the Indo-Russian Inter Governmental Commission on Military Technical Cooperation (IRIGCMTC) with his Indian counterpart Manohar Parrikar.

The two will have restricted meeting followed by delegation-level talks, defence sources said.

It was during a meeting of the commission in Moscow last year that both sides had firmed up plans to acquire the air defence system and other deals which were recently signed on the sidelines of the BRICS meet in Goa.

Sergei Chemezov, CEO of Rostec State Corporation, a Russian umbrella organisation of 700 hi-tech civilian and military firms, had told PTI that they expect the agreement on fifth generation fighter aircraft (FGFA) to be finalise by this year end.

After a hiatus of nearly a year, India and Russia had in February revived talks on the much delayed FGFA project after a clearance from Parrikar.

Since then, a lot of issues related to work share, IPR and technology transfer among others have been sorted out between the two sides along with the monetary commitments.

Under the new offer, India will have to pay about USD 3.7 billion, instead of USD 6 billion, for technological know-how and three prototypes of the fighters, the sources said.

In 2010, India had agreed to pay USD 295 million towards the preliminary design of the fighter, called in India as Perspective Multi-role Fighter (PMF).

The two sides are also expected to discuss the upgrade of SU-30 MKI, India's front line fighter aircraft.

Russia is also eyeing the multi-billion dollar deal for P75-I project of India under which six conventional submarines are to be built with Air Independent Propulsion systems.

With deals over USD 12 billion in kitty this month, including leasing of a second nuclear submarine, Russia hopes to bag more projects as it termed itself as not just a business partner but an "ally" who stood by India in its "darkest hours".

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