The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS), the
countrys highest authority on security policies
headed by the Prime Minister, sanctioned the Indian
contribution last month while sources in Moscow
told India Strategic that the Russian
government had already done the needful.
Russias United Aircraft Corporation (UAC)
and India's Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) will
now set up a subsidiary company to develop the
aircraft. The formal Charter documents between
the two countries were finalized Sep 9th during
discussions with a visiting delegation from Moscow.
The new company, with $600.70 million in its
kitty, will begin work on developing the MTA immediately.
HAL Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) Ashok
Nayak told India Strategic that India would acquire
45 aircraft and Russia 105. There would be scope
though for exporting this aircraft, both for civil
and military use, and more MTAs could be manufactured.
Russia has maintained its traditional Soviet
days' lead in supplying military aircraft to India.
Over the last one and a half decades, it has
won orders to supply nearly $20 billion worth
of aircraft, systems and support elements including
maintenance and upgrades. It has won orders for
272 SU30 MKI combat jets, 139 Mi17 V5 helicopters,
five AWACs aircraft, six midair refuellers, 45
Mig 29Ks, and upgrades for SU 30MKI as well as
old Mig21bis and Mig29 aircraft.
For MTA, the two countries had signed the Inter-governmental
Agreement in November 2007 after Indian Defence
Minister A K Antony visited Moscow.
The MTA would be designed to carry between 15
to 20 tonnes of cargo or between 80 to 100 troops/