Russia’s defense minister said Oct. 17 that Moscow wants to sell its most modern weapons to India after reviewing anti-terrorism training exercises here, news reports said.
Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov attended the first joint anti-terror war games with India in the western desert state of Rajasthan with his Indian counterpart where they both escaped injury after a heavy mortar dropped by a plane landed several meters from their platform, Press Trust of India reported.
Ivanov arrived in India overnight to review the war games between the long-time allies in which 1,600 elite Russian troops will take part, the Press Trust of India news agency said.
Ivanov said the two countries plan to collaborate on building advanced fighter jets, warships and submarines, and to conclude a deal on military intellectual property rights by the end of the year, PTI said.
Despite the 1992 breakup of the Soviet Union, Moscow remains New Delhi’s closest military ally and is the source of 70 percent of India’s defense hardware.
The anti-terror exercises, dubbed “Indra-2005”, included hundreds of paratroopers from Russia’s 76th Pskov Airborne Division fresh from operations in Chechnya, the United News of India news agency reported.
Conflict in Kashmir and Chechnya had made India and Russia victims of international terrorism “much before everybody started talking about anti-terror combat”, UNI quoted Ivanov as saying.
Both “had accumulated a rich experience in combating terror and could gain from each others’ experience”, he said.
Ivanov, on a three-day visit, said the intellectual property rights agreement would make it easier to transfer defense technology to India, PTI said.
In addition, Ivanov will witness joint naval maneuvers in the Bay of Bengal with India Defense Minister Pranab Mukherjee, a defense ministry statement said at the weekend.
The naval exercises, the third in the series since 2003, “will include various surface firing, air defense and anti-submarine warfare exercises,” it said.