India, Russia ink big-ticket defence deals

Benaulim (Goa), Oct 15 (IANS) India and Russia on Friday signed big-ticket defence deals, including an agreement for the game-changer S-400 Air Defence System and Kamov helicopters and to replace the existing aging fleets and build new frigates.

“The agreements on manufacturing Kamov 226T helicopters; constructions of frigates; and acquisition and building of other defence platforms are in synergy with India’s technology and security priorities,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Saturday.

Here are the deals sealed on Saturday:

* Ka-226T helicopters — Kamov 226T choppers will replace the aging Cheetah and Chetak choppers. Kamov is a light multipurpose helicopter designed for work in difficult conditions like high mountains, hot climate and marine areas. It allows for reconnaissance, targeting and monitoring of transportation.

It also boasts of incredibly precise hovering ability, excellent maneuverability and high safety standards, and has proved to perform better than its western counterparts in Indian heat.

The chopper is equipped with two Arrius 2G1 engines made by the Turbomeca company. The passenger version of the chopper can carry up to seven people, while the transport version can carry one tonne of cargo inside the fuselage or via an external sling.

The deal is worth more than $1 billion. The helicopters will be made by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) with Russian cooperation.

* Frigates — An inter-governmental agreement for four frigates through partnership between Russian and Indian shipyards was signed.

While two frigates will come from Russia, two others will be constructed at an Indian shipyard with Russian cooperation.

The frigates will be improved versions of Krivak or Talwar class stealth frigates, and the deal is worth more than $3 billion.

* S-400 Air Defence System — The over $5-billion deal to purchase the long-range air defence missile system, which has the capability to destroy incoming hostile aircraft, missiles and even drones at ranges of up to 400 km, will prove to be a game changer for India.

The system is currently deployed in Syria, where Russia is targeting the Islamic State.

Besides, Prime Minister Narendra Modi also announced that annual military industrial conferences will be held by India and Russia, which will allow stakeholders on both sides to institute and push collaboration.

China inked a deal with Russia in November 2014 for the supply of six S-400 systems.

–IANS

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