India and Russia may have reached an understanding on three multi-billion dollar defence deals at the Intergovernmental Commission for Military- Technical Cooperation (IGC-MTC), which was held in Moscow yesterday.
Indian Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, who was in Moscow for the IGC-MTC, signed a military- technical cooperation agreement with his Russian counterpart Sergei Shoigu, news agencies reported without giving out details of the agreement.
A PTI report, quoting unnamed Indian sources said a government to government deal to purchase the S-400 Triumf missile system could very well be signed during Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Moscow in December.
The report said that the talks included leasing of a second Russian nuclear submarine to the Indian Navy. The Indian Defence Minister reportedly set the stage for the inking of an agreement with Russia during Modi's visit for the manufacture of 200 Kamov 226T helicopters in India under the 'Make in India' initiative.
However, a press release from the Russian MoD issued after the IGC-MTC, did not make a mention of these three mega defence deals.
"The sides positively assessed the progress of work on the design of a promising multifunctional fighter aircraft (T-50 or PAK-FA stealth fighter) and a multi-purpose cargo aircraft, licensed production of Su-30MKI fighters and T-90S tanks (and) the implementation of the program for the creation and production of BrahMos missile," the press release said.
The three projects mentioned in the press release, the PAK-FA stealth fighter, the cargo aircraft, Su-30MKI licenced production and T-90S tanks have been issues of concern between India and Russia. India not moved forward on Russia’s request for the detailed project report of the PAK-FA, the two countries are attempting to increase serviceability of the Su-30MKI and production of T-90S tanks. Regarding BrahMos, the next big milestone is launching the missile from a Su-30MKI fighter.
Russian Defence Minister Shoigu was quoted as saying, "Looking ahead, there is the creation of multirole transport aircraft, a fifth-generation fighter as well as a number of projects in the military naval field."