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  India, Russia finalize transport aircraft project  
 
 
By Gulshan Luthra Published: September 2010
 
 
 
 
 
 

New Delhi. India and Russia have finalized arrangements to jointly develop the Multirole Transport Aircraft (MTA) with each side pooling in US $300.35 million.

 

The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS), the country’s 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.

Russia’s 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/ passengers.

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