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India, Russia to sign military deals worth USD 4 bn

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India plans to purchase 29 more carrier based MiG-29Ks. A RAC MiG photo.

MOSCOW (PTI): India and Russia will sign defence deals worth USD 4 billion for purchase of 29 more carrier based MiG-29Ks as well as ink the final agreement for joint manufacture of fifth generation fighters during Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's forthcoming visit to India.

The umbrella contract would also include the final delivery agreement for the long-delayed aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov, under which New Delhi would shell out an additional USD 2.35 billion for the upgradation of the carrier and training of Indian naval crews, financial daily 'Vedomosti said on Thursday.

The Russian strongman would be in New Delhi on March 11-12 at the invitation of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and in the course of this visit all three agreements are likely to be signed, the paper said.

The carrier, which has been rechristened INS Vikramaditya is now scheduled to be delivered by 2013. India would pay another USD 1.2-billion for the new naval MiG-29K/KUB.

The new MiGs will be in addition to 16 jets to be delivered under a contract signed in 2004 as part of the Gorshkov deal. The first of these maritime fighters have already been inducted by the Indian Navy.

The Vikramaditya is currently undergoing repairs and refit at the Sevmash shipyard in Russia.

Under the new agreement on Gorshkov refit, additional money would be made available to Sevmash shipyard to step up its upgradation.

The two countries are also close to the signing of commercial contracts for setting up multi-billion joint venture for the joint development and production of fifth generation fighter aircraft (FGFA) and multi-role transport aircraft (MTA).

India will also acquire 40 more Sukhoi Su-30MKI multi-role fighters.

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