India, Russia to soon ink deal on fifth generation fighter aircraft

Russia was the only country for India that transferred all technologies without restrictions, declared Mr Sergei Chemezov, the CEO of Rostec, to the Indian media. Rostec is a Russian state corporation, comprising hundreds of entities, that develops and promotes hi-tech defence and civilian products worldwide. Mr Chemezov was speaking on the sidelines of MAKS 2017 as it got under way, the aeroshow where this year  800 companies from Russia are participating along with 180 companies from 37 other countries. The centrepiece was the flight demonstration of MiG 35, the most advanced of Russian fighter aircraft, but not quite fifth generation,  that will go into production in a couple of years. Asked what the prospects of co-operation were with India, given India’s growing defence co-operation with other countries, the CEO of Rostec was sanguine, maintaining that “Cooperation with India will certainly continue. Regardless of whether India cooperates only with Russia or also with Israel and other countries. And France also, and USA.” He declared  Russia had its own “niche”.  “These countries have their own directions for cooperation. Therefore, this does not mean that if India will work with some other countries, cooperation with Russia will cease. No. There are things that no one else will give except Russia. Therefore, Russia has always been and will be a strategic partner of India.” Giving an overview of Russia’s defence relationship with India the CEO of Rostec  said that every year, Russia supplied products to India worth more than two billion dollars. The volumes in the past year was more or less the same as the previous year.  There had been fluctuations, in the range of  ten to fifteen per cent but Mr Chemezov characterised them as being “insignificant”.  He said where India was concerned the co-operation was aimed not only in selling products but also  transferring technology. It began with the late 90′s with the sale of licenses for SU-30MKIs which today are manufactured in India. He cited the example of the T-90 tank the production of which India had “mastered” and that the Russian role in this was only to provide assistance,  supply  components, but for the most it was already localized. He said the co-operation was very wide, pointing out that, “Most recently we signed a contract for the joint production of Ka-226 helicopters. We have to supply a certain amount, most will be localized, in total, in the amount of 200 helicopters. But in the future this amount can be increased. We are working on the 5th generation aircraft, the work continues.” On the Brahmos missile, he said the production had been completely localised as well. On the delivery of Ka 226 helicopters, Mr Chemezov said there was a joint venture in India. “And we expect an official request from the Ministry of Defense of India, the customer. Accordingly, after the contract is signed, in two years, the first deliveries of helicopters will be made. The agreement for that is signed and is being exercised.” Mr Chemezov refused to be drawn into commenting on the S-400 triumf systems to India, saying “until the contract is signed I would not be able to answer precisely on this topic.  When we finalise the deal and sign it, and if our India partners agree, we could announce details of this contract.” S 400 triumf is an anti-aircraft missile defence system which has been deployed in Russia for about a decade. He did not wish to comment on the creation of a fifth generation fighter aircraft with India either, saying merely that it was complicated therefore not going fast. “ Stage 1 is over. Now we are discussing the 2nd stage. And I think that in the near future all decisions will be made. And the contract documents will be signed. But the work is going, it is very complicated, so it is not going fast. “


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