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'Russia offers def tech to India without any strings attached'

NEW DELHI (PTI): Russia's technology transfers to India in the defence sector have been without any strings attached and there is scope for further deepening of the military ties, Vice Chief of the Indian Air Force Air Marshal S B Deo has said.

His comments come at a time when leading defence manufacturers from across the globe are eyeing India's growing market by offering technology transfer and joint ventures for developing fighter jets, submarines and other military platforms.

"When it comes to technology transfer, Russia really offers everything they have from the heart without any strings attached," Deo said on Monday at an event to celebrate 70 years of diplomatic ties between India and Russia.

In May, the Government had unveiled the strategic partnership model under which select private firms will be roped in to build military platforms like submarines and fighter jets in India in partnership with foreign entities.

Noting that there was scope for expansion of India's defence ties with Russia, Air Marshal Deo also said the relationship should be developed focusing more on commercial aspects.

"The time has come for the relationship to be more on a commercial basis. It can be a win-win situation for both Russia and India," he said.

The Indian Air Force (IAF) will start the process soon to acquire a fleet of single engine fighter jets and Swedish defence giant Saab and US firm Lockheed Martin are seen as major competitors for the project.

Russia is keen on offering its new fighter jet MiG-35 to India.

At the event, the 50th AL31FP engine, manufactured from raw materials by Sukhoi engine division of Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (Koraput), was handed over to the IAF as part of the celebration of the 70th year of India-Russia ties.

"The AL31FP engine powers Su-30 MKI jets and is manufactured from raw material stage at the HAL Koraput," said HAL Chairman and Managing Director T Suvarna Raju.

Speaking at the event, Defence Production Secretary AK Gupta said Russian defence firms should come forward for entering into strategic partnerships with Indian companies for developing various defence platforms.

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