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Pranab Mukherjee to discuss new defence projects in Moscow
Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee will be leaving for Russia on a three-day official visit tonight.

Mukherjee will co-chair the India-Russia Inter-Governmental Commission (IRIGC) on Military Technical Co-operation (MTC) with his Russian counterpart Sergei Ivanov, on whose invitation he is leaving for Moscow.

The IRIGC-MTC is the apex body of India's strategic defence partnership with Russia and annually reviews the work done as per plan and sets target for the coming year.

A number of new projects are currently on the anvil between on the anvil between the two countries and these will be discussed at the meeting of the IRIGC to take them forward.

Sources said that a major Russian concern regarding intellectual property rights (IPR) will be addressed successfully during Mukherjee's visit, adding that an agreement in this regard is likely to be signed during his stay in Moscow.

Mukherjee who is visiting Russia on the invitation of his Russian counterpart, will be meeting President Vladimir Putin and other high ranking officials of Kremlin and hold talks over bilateral defence relations and the current security situation in India's neighbourhood.

India and Russia have over four decades of defence ties. Russia is presently India's largest weapons supplier with export of Russian military equipment forming 40 per cent of Russian military sales worldwide.

India and Russia have jointly developed the Brahmos supersonic cruise missiles. The Indian Air Force's (IAF's) fighter fleet is mostly of Russian origin with the bulk comprising of the MiG - 21s, and other variations like MiG 27s, MiG 29s. The Sukhoi multi-combat aircraft (Su-30 and Su-30 MKI) developed by Russia is now being produced at Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) under licence.

The T-72 tanks and the T-90 MBT that forms the core of the mechanised corps of the Indian Army are also of Russian origin and manufactured at Ordnance Factories in India. India is looking at procuring the Tunguska air defence system and the Smerch multi-role rocket launcher from Moscow.

India has also signed a 1.5-billion dollar deal with Russia for Admiral Gorshkov, the aircraft carrier that will be handed over to India by 2009 after a refit.


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Posted by Jehangir Unwalla @ 4:18 PM

 

 
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