M A I N   N E W S

India, Russia to sign missile system pact
Tribune News Service

A group of foreign visitors takes a look at the Brahmos, Indian cruise missile, during the ‘Defexpo India 2004’ at Pragati Maidan in New Delhi.
A group of foreign visitors takes a look at the Brahmos, Indian cruise missile, during the ‘Defexpo India 2004’ at Pragati Maidan in New Delhi. — PTI photo

New Delhi, February 5
Following the recent signing of major defence deals between India and Russia, the countries are now on the verge of concluding another contract for the supply of the multi-barrel rocket launcher, Smerch.

Indicating that the deal for the missile system is on the cards Rosoboronexport’s Deputy Director-Gen Viktor Komardin, said at a press conference today, “We are ready to sign the contract anytime”.

“If you give the contract to us just now, we are ready to sign it,” he added.

Reports here suggested that talks on the technical aspects of Smerch had been completed and India and Russia would soon sign a contract “in a short-term perspective” for the delivery of the system to India.

India and Russia had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the purchase of the system in February 2002 after India had successfully tested the system.

Projects like the Brahmos cruise missile and the fifth-generation joint strike fighter, being co-developed by India and Russia, underscore Russia’s position as the key supplier to the Indian defence forces, the Russian delegation at Defexpo-2004 said today.

The Russian delegation at the Defence Expo-2004 also said, “Successful Indo-Russian initiatives like the Brahmos, a sangam of the Brahmputra and Moskva, rivers will give rise to new `avatars’ of military cooperation”.

Russian Ambassador Alexander Kadakin, without naming any country, said India could go in for a strategic dialogue with anyone, but it should remember that its real strategic partner was Russia.

He pointed out that Russian had offered the Su-30 MKI only to India, adding that the latter was the only country to which the Smerch missile system was being offered to.


India seeks tieup in defence sector
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 5
Seeking to emerge as a major arms producer and exporter, India today invited foreign collaboration in the defence sector pointing to the advantages of large domestic market, low production costs, skilled manpower and good industrial infrastructure.

Speaking at the third DefExpo here, Defence Production and Supplies Secretary Uma Pillai said the new industrial policy for the defence sector had created a congenial environment for joint ventures between the Indian industry and high technology holders across the globe.

India could also serve as a production base for exports to other countries in the region, she added.

She said the development of world-class defence industry was one of the long-term objectives of the government’s new policy.

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