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HindustanTimes Tue,21 Oct 2014

Putin, PM ink defence deals worth $4.5bn

Rahul Singh, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, December 24, 2012
First Published: 16:06 IST(24/12/2012) | Last Updated: 00:28 IST(25/12/2012)

Russian President Vladimir Putin couldn't have asked for a better Christmas present.

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Russia on Monday bagged two military contracts worth more than $4.5 billion ( Rs. 25,200 crore) to equip the Indian Air Force (IAF) with more Sukhoi-30 MKI fighter planes and Mi-17 V5 helicopters at the 13th India-Russia Annual Summit.

India will shell out nearly $3 billion ( Rs. 16,666 crore) to add 42 Su-30 MKI fighter planes to the IAF's fleet of 230 Sukhois.

The transport helicopters - 59 for the IAF and 12 for the ministry of home affairs - will cost $1.54 billion ( Rs. 8,555 crore). Putin was in New Delhi for a day.

Both contracts are follow-on orders to previous deals. The two nations also discussed the progress made in the joint development and production of the fifth-generation fighter aircraft.

The IAF plans to deploy 300 co-produced fifth-generation fighters at a cost of $30 billion ( Rs. 1,66,665 crore). The IAF hopes to induct the planes in 2018-19.

The 30-tonne aircraft will have stealth features to increase survivability in combat, advanced avionics, smart weapons, top-end mission computers and 360-degree situational awareness.

The two sides also discussed the need to speed up the delivery of aircraft carrier Vikramaditya to the Indian Navy. The carrier was supposed to join the navy in 2008 but it is now expected only in the last quarter of 2013.

The deal to buy the Su-30 MKIs comes 11 months after India chose French firm Dassault Aviation's Rafale fighter jet over rival Eurofighter Typhoon to supply 126 fighter planes to the IAF in a hotly contested contract worth $18 billion ( Rs. 99,999 crore).

The Russians had lost out in the early stages.


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