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India, Russia mulling close defence cooperation

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The fifth generation fighter aircraft.

MOSCOW (PTI): India and Russia are mulling closer cooperation between their air forces, operating similar aircraft and preparing to jointly develop futuristic fifth generation fighter jet, officials said during the recent visit of Air Chief Marshal P V Naik there.

The issues of inter-services interaction, including joint air drills were high on the agenda of Naik's talks with the Russian Air Chief Colonel-General Alexander Zelin, Russian Defence Ministry sources said.

In the course of his week-long official Russia visit, Naik watched the demonstration flight of the prototype of PAK-FA T-50 fifth generation fighter (FGFA) developed by Sukhoi at an airbase near here last Monday.

The warplane will be jointly developed and produced by the two countries under an inter-governmental agreement signed in October 2007.

Besides the common heavier platform, Russia has also agreed to jointly develop a lighter fifth generation fighter tailored to meet specific requirements of the Indian Air Force (IAF).

The Indian Air Chief also watched the flight of deeply modernised MiG-29UPG of the IAF at the airfield of M M Gromov Flight Research Institute in Zhukovsky town near here.

Under a multi-million dollar contract signed in 2008, Russia's MiG Aircraft Corporation, is deeply upgrading six of the IAF's fighter MiG-29 fleet here, while rest will be modernised in India.

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IAF  FGFA  India  Russia  Defence  
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