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Russia to increase funding of joint projects with India

Brahmos missile at display during the Republic Day parade at Rajpath in New Delhi earlier this year. PTI Photo

MOSCOW (BNS): Russia will pump in more funds in its various joint ventures with India on development of weapon systems.

Russian finance minister Alexei Kudrin has been quoted by agencies as saying that capital would be increased in the projects. It is part of the fresh defence budget cleared by the Kremlin for the current year.

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin had presided an anti-crisis cabinet meeting yesterday in which the decision was taken to increase outlay for the defence projects with India.

India and Russia are working on some of the key projects. This includes joint development of supersonic cruise missiles BrahMos.

The Indo-Russian venture of BrahMos has been a success story and the missile has evoked widespread interest around the world. There is an immense market for the missile which has established a benchmark in the cruise missile technology generating a big potential for expansion.

Just recently, India and Russia have also joined hands to develop a fifth generation combat jet. The first prototype of the aircraft is expected to be ready by the end of this year.

The two sides have another collaboration to develop a new medium lift transport aircraft. The aircraft would be built from scratch with a completely new design and airframe. It is meant to be used by both the Russian and Indian air forces.

Work is also going on to operationalise titanium dioxide plant in Orissa for the production of titanium sponge.

"The government has decided to pay special attention to a number of Russian-Indian joint ventures, their capital will be raised," Kudrin said in a press conference yesterday in Moscow.

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