Antony holding talks on bilateral defence ties in Moscow

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Moscow, Oct 17 (UNI) Visiting Defence Minister A K Antony is holding talks today with his Russian counterpart Anatoly Serdyukov on further strengthening bilateral defence ties between the two countries, in the framework of Indo-Russian Inter-Governmental Commission on Military-Technical Cooperation.

The opening session of the IRIGC-MTC is being held at the Russian Armed Forces Cultural Centre.

The two-day session is being held ahead of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit to Russia for a summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin next month.

The commission will discuss the status of defence cooperation and prospects for the future.

Antony arrived last night on a three-day visit at Domodedovo airport here to a warm welcome by senior-level Russian officials.

Indian ambassador to Russia, Prabhat Shukla was also present.

At the session, India expects to conclude a new comprehensive agreement with Russia on several aspects of military-technical cooperation, including efforts to co-develop the newest systems of armaments.

The military-technical interaction between the two countries would cover such types of armaments as air-launched and surface-to-air missiles, a fifth-generation aircraft, and submarines.

It is also planned to reach agreement on the deliveries of spare parts for Russian combat hardware that has been in service with India's Armed Forces for decades.

Last week, Moscow and New Delhi signed a 1.6 billion dollars contract for 40 Russian Su-30 Flanker fighter assembly sets to be supplied to India by 2010, media reports said.

Leading business daily Kommersant reported that a Russian-Indian inter-governmental agreement on the joint implementation of a project to create a fifth-generation fighter jet will be signed here on October 17.

Antony is scheduled to visit tomorrow Russian NPO Mashinostroeniya research and production centre, which has jointly developed BrahMos missile with Indian DRDO.

He will also visit Tactical Missile Corporation, in Korolev, outside Moscow.

UNI

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