In a move that could provide a big boost to India's defence capabilities, Russia and India are all set to enter into a $5 billion (around Rs 33,000 crore) agreement for delivery of S-400 ‘Triumf’ long-range air defence missile systems to New Delhi.
The landmark deal will be inked in Goa on the sidelines of BRICS summit on Saturday, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi will meet separately with President Vladmir Putin, Kremlin aide Yuri Ushakov told state media.
“Following the results of the negotiations between our president and (Indian Prime Minister Narendra) Modi, an agreement will be signed on the delivery of S-400 Triumf anti aircraft missile systems to India, as well as some other documents,” Russian presidential aide Yuri Ushakov was quoted as saying by TASS news agency.
India is interested in getting five systems of the most modern air defence system, capable of firing three types of missiles, creating a layered defence, and simultaneously engaging 36 targets.
It has the capability to destroy incoming hostile aircraft, missiles and even drones at ranges of up to 400 km.
If India signs the deal, it would be the second customer of the prized missile system after China which had struck a USD 3 billion contract last year.
The S-400, an upgraded version of the S-300, had previously only been available to the Russian defence forces.
It is manufactured by Almaz-Antey and has been in service in Russia since 2007.
Ushakov said part of the documents will be signed behind closed doors.
The Kremlin aide declined to comment on the details of the deal, suggesting that first the document should be signed.
In an interview to IANS and Sputnik news agencies, Russian president Vladmir Putin said, “Russia remains in the lead in terms of both direct supplies of most advanced weapons and military equipment and conducting joint researches with India as well as producing goods for military purposes. Our countries actively collaborate in the military technical field,”
Russia also plans to sign an agreement on building Project 11356 frigates for the Indian Navy and setting up a Russian- Indian joint venture to produce Kamov Ka-226T helicopters, the agency reported.
Following the results of their talks, Putin and Modi will adopt a joint statement to reflect their common approaches towards solving various global and regional issues.
Both sides will also approve a roadmap of measures timed to coincide with the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
Overall, Russia and India are set to sign about 18 documents, he said.
The Russian presidential aide said Putin and Modi will hold their talks in Goa ahead of the summit of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) grouping of leading emerging economies.
The Russian and Indian leaders are first expected to talk in a narrow format and then negotiations will be held at the level of delegations.
Russia’s delegation will also be represented by Vice- Premier Dmitry Rogozin, the heads of the Industry and Trade, Energy and Economics Ministries, state civil nuclear power corporation Rosatom and others.
After the talks, the Russian and Indian leaders will take part in the ceremony of laying the foundation for the third and fourth power units of India’s Kudankulam nuclear power plant via a video conference, make statements for the media and hold a tete-a-tete lunch.