Sunday, October 3, 2010

India-Russia Defence Ties Flying High with $600 mn MTA Deal

Giving a new dimension to defence ties, Russia signed a pact with India early september to jointly produce and design multi-purpose transport aircraft.With a payload capacity of 20 tons and speed of 810 km per hour, the multi-role transport aircraft (MTA) is set to be another milestone in decades-old India-Russia defence relationship.The project has been on the drawing board for quite some time, but it took wings early September when India and Russia inked an agreement to form a $600 million joint enterprise for designing and producing MTA. The first flight of the aircraft is expected to take place within six years. The shareholders' agreement for setting up the joint enterprise include: Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd.


(HAL) with 50 per cent ownership; the Russian concern OAK-Transportnye Samolety with 25 per cent; and Rosoboroneksport with 25 per cent. The joint enterprise, to be called MTA Limited, will be registered in India within the next two months. A branch of MTA Limited will be registered in Russia. According to The Voice of Russia radio, the aircraft would be developed at Aviastar-SP plant based in Ulyanovsk city on Volga.

The Indian Air Force is expected to order at least 35 and Russian Air Force as many as 100 medium lift transport aircrafts. The next milestone will be the Russian-Indian project to create a fifth-generation jet fighter.Both sides are working hard doing the requisite paperwork before the signing of the agreement between the two governments. The new jet fighter will be based on design by Sukhoi, the company that created the flying prototype of the promising aviation complex of frontline aviation (PAK FA), known as the T-50.

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