India getting hard on defence deals with Russia: KZ

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Moscow, Sep 21 (UNI) India has hardened its position on all defence deals with the companies here, due to recent changes in country's political situation, specially its increasing alliance with the United States, according Russian military newspaper Krasnaya Zvezda (Red Star).

''India has put on hold payment of 150 million dollars for modernising the 1L-38SD maritime reconnisance aircraft with the Sea Dragon Suite, ''the paper wrote, saying New Delhi refused the first two anti-submarine aircraft with the ''Sea Dragon'' target-search system out of the five which were to be delivered to India.

Quoting the Indian experts, it said the aircraft test-run did not match up to technical requirements.

''Breach of the contract may lead to defeat of Rosoboronexport in the tender for another eight new anti-submarine aircraft worth close to 400 million dollar,'' it added.

Il-38SD was working well and Ilyushin was ready to complete its contract on time, Director of Ilyushin Aircraft Manufacturing Company Viktor Livanov was quoted by the paper, as saying.

However, the 'BrahMos' missile project was complicating the situation with Il-38SD, it said adding India was planning to manufacture these not only for its land forces, but a sea version as well.

With its high speed and low radar visibility, the missile was difficult to track down. BrahMos missile model was better than all others. New Delhi was in a hurry to complete the project, the paper added, emphasising that due to the requirement of additional expenditure, however, a new agreement was required to be signed.

''The situation started changing gradually recently, with Indo-US relations advancing. Last year, for instance, Washington offered India a partnership proposition for developing its peaceful nuclear programme and possible future business cooperation,'' it said.

This was not withstanding the fact that India had not signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty yet. Russian experts described it as the Trojan Horse from America, the paper noted.

For a very long time, India was considered to be Russia's 'strategic partner', but under the influence of the US, relations had changed, the paper mentioned.

''Still, Russia treasures the relationship and offers not only military cooperation, but also training for Indians to actually become masters of their planes,'' Krasnaya Zvezda said.

Moscow still wanted India as its partner and was in favour of resolving problems at the negotiation table without any excessive ambitions for itself, it added.


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