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.
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.