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India-Russia Signs Roadmap for Defence Cooperation

India and Russia have finalized a roadmap to further boost bilateral defence cooperation during the 17th India-Russia intergovernmental commission on military-technical cooperation held at Moscow. The meeting was co-chaired by defence minister Arun Jaitley and his Russian counterpart General Shoygu. The agenda for the discussion ranged from joint development of futuristic weapon systems to a major upgrade of military-to-military ties.

India and Russia had signed a protocol that aims to enhance cooperation between both the countries in the field of political and military dialogue, exercises, exchange of visits, military cooperation and training.

Background

The top-level bilateral meeting comes at the backdrop of Russia’s efforts to maintain its long-standing number one position as an arms supplier to India in face of stiff competition from the US, Israel, France and other countries. Russia is on course of getting defence projects worth $10.5 billion from the acquisition of five S-400 Triumf advanced air defence missile systems, four Grigorivich-class frigates and 200 Kamov-226T light helicopters and the lease of a second nuclear-powered submarine after INS Chakra.

The meeting also comes in the backdrop of India being unhappy with Russia for delaying delivery schedules, increasing up costs mid-way as well as creating hurdles in technology transfer and providing unreliable spares support. India is also not happy regarding the economic and technical viability of going joint development and production of a fifth-generation fighter aircraft (FGFA) called the Sukhoi T-50 or Sukhoi PAK-FA.

The Sukhoi PAK FA is a fifth generation fighter aircraft programme. PAK FA is a stealth, single seat aircraft that is intended to be the successor to the MiG-29 and Su-27 in the Russian Airforce. The aircraft will serve as the basis for the Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA) being jointly developed by Sukhoi and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) for the Indian Air Force.

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India and Russia Celebrates 10 Years of Partnership in Science and Technology

This year, India and Russia are celebrating 70 years of establishment of diplomatic relations between them. Joint cooperation in science and technology was one of the important pillars of the bilateral relationship between both the countries. Also, India’s Department of Science & Technology, New Delhi and Russian Foundation for Basic Research, Moscow are celebrating their 10th year of their partnership.

MoU

To expand the joint cooperation, India’s Department of Science and Technology and Russian scientists held discussions to enhance their cooperation in the fields of big data and cyber physical systems.

Subsequently, a MoU on the India-Russia unified technology assessment and accelerated commercialization programme, was concluded in Moscow between Department of Science & Technology (DST) and Russia’s Foundation for Assistance to Small Innovative Enterprises (FASIE). The MoU is expected to improve closer interaction between scientists of the Russian Academy of Sciences and the scientists of India. It was also agreed to work for start-up companies and entrepreneurs in order to establish Indo-Russian Bridge for Innovation.

The meeting also concluded with an Addendum to the Agreement between DST and Russian Science Foundation (RSF) on coordinated competition for conducting collaborating research. DST and RSF have agreed to support young achievers who are less than 39 years of age in a competitive mode for joint collaborative research. As of now, DST and RSF have jointly supported over 17 projects.

Background

With the closure of the Integrated Long Term Programme (ILTP) between both the countries in 2007, the DST-RFBR has emerged as a robust platform for bilateral scientific cooperation in Basic Sciences. The first call under the DST-RFBR programme was awarded in 2008. In the last decade, DST and RFBR have jointly supported 254 research projects. Under the ambit of this programme, projects have been undertaken in the areas of basic sciences Physics & Astronomy, Chemistry & Material Sciences, Biology & Medical Sciences, Earth Sciences, Mathematics, Engineering Sciences and Computer Sciences and Telecommunications.

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World’s First Hybrid ‘Aeroboat’ Unveiled

The world’s first hybrid ‘aeroboat’ which has been built by an Indo-Russian joint venture has been unveiled at a start-ups event organized by Russia’s state-run Skolkovo Foundation.

Salient Highlights

The aeroboat is capable of travelling on land, water, snow and sand. It has been designed to access difficult terrain, such as flooded or marshy areas in which the regular boats cannot ply because of shallow water, patches of dry land or by marine vegetation. The aeroboats can handle steep slopes and embankments with out the requirement of marine infrastructure such as jetties. The aeroboat will have a room for 10 passengers and one crew member.

The aeroboat has been designed by IIAAT Holding. IIAAT Holding is a joint venture between the International Institute for Advanced Aerospace Technologies and Indian firm Millennium Aerodynamics. 

Aeroboats are much faster and robust when compared to hovercrafts. Aeroboats are capable of moving at the speed of around 150 kmph or more on water. Hovercrafts, on the other hand, can move at around 45-50 kmph or more.

Aeroboats unlike hoverboats are cheaper to maintain and fuel. The aeroboats “hybrid” engine is capable of running on either petrol or electricity thus helping in reducing the carbon emissions and improve energy efficiency.

While hovercrafts work on static air cushion, aeroboats functions on dynamic air-cushion. The Dynamic air-cushion feature provides a lot of advantage to aeroboats in terms of speed and manoeuvrability. The amphibious aeroboats can provide high-speed year-round navigation even in frozen surfaces.

In India, these aeroboats will be helpful for disaster management authorities. It would be helpful especially to save hundreds of lives during the monsoon season.

 

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