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Deal of S-400 with Russia of Rs. 39,000 crore

In a epic arms acqusition, India have deal with Russians of Rs. 39,000 crore deal for five new gens of Russian S-400 Triumf air defence missile systems, which can destroy incoming hosting aircraft, stealth fighters, missiles and drones at ranges of upto 400 km.

India and Russia will also discuss and finalise agreement of a joint production of 200 Kamov 226T light utility helicopters in India under "Make in India Programme".

Narendra Modi with Vladimir Putin
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. (File TOI photo)
With Russian President Vladmir Putin headed for India to attend the BRICS Summit in Goa, the S-400 deal as well as the joint venture for helicopters to be established between defence PSU Hindustan Aeronautics and Russian Rostec State Corporation will be inked over the weekend.

As for the Kamov helicopters, which will replace the aging and obsolete Cheetah and Chetak fleets of the armed forces, the deal will be signed between defence PSU Hindustan Aeronautics and Russian Rostec State Corporation. HAL and Rostec will form a joint venture to set up the production facilities to execute the deal.

As was reported by TOI last month, the decks had been cleared for the helicopter deal after a flurry of high-level meetings between the two countries. After a pronounced tilt towards the US in terms of defence deals and military-to-military ties over the last decade, India has reassured Russia that their traditional strategic partnership and defence projects will continue as before.

Negotiations for other mega defence projects with Russia like the joint development of the futuristic fifth generation fighter aircraft (FGFA) and the $1.5 billion lease of a second nuclear-powered submarine are also on track now.

Soon after it had come to office in 2014, the NDA government had scrapped the long-pending acquisition of 197 light-utility helicopters from abroad, the selection process for which has been dogged by corruption allegations and technical deviations.

The armed forces have waited a long time for new helicopters to replace their Cheetah/Chetak helicopters, which are even used even in high-altitude areas like Siachen. In all, the Army and IAF need 384 light-utility helicopters. HAL, which was tasked to manufacture 187 similar helicopters in 2009, too, is yet to deliver.

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