Monday, November 8, 2010

Deals with US not to hit Indo-Russia ties

India's military ties with Russia are not likely to be affected by recent spurt in the purchase of equipment from the US. For, the wide range of military equipment being sourced from Russia, or being co-developed with Moscow, is far too huge for the US to match, sources told.

Notably, the US has recently entered the Indian military market via the government-to-government sales route and is at best "setting its foot on the soil". Russia, however, is so well ensconced that frontline fighters the Sukhoi-30 and T-90 tanks are now being produced in India itself. And co-development projects include a cruise missile, next generation of fighter and transport planes, an official said. Among the recent acquisition from the US have been the six C-130-J medium haul transport planes -- the first batch arrives in February next.

The Navy will also be soon getting the first batch of the eight long-range maritime reconnaissance and anti-submarine warfare aircraft, the P-8I. India has already selected the General Electric's GE 414 engine to power the next lot of light combat aircraft - the Tejas. Besides, the Army is in the final stages of trying out the ultra-light howitzer - the M777. The gun can be slung under a chopper and dropped at remote mountainous locations. The last on the list is the much talked about $5.8 billion deal for the purchase of 10 heavy lift transport aircraft, the C-17-A Globemaster.

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