Russia to lease out AWACS to India

Ulhas Joglekar ulhasj at SPAMbom4.vsnl.net.in
Sun Nov 7 19:47:43 MST 1999



The Hindu: Russia to lease out AWACS to India
Saturday, November 06, 1999

By Atul Aneja
NEW DELHI, NOV. 5. As India begins its post-Kargil military modernisation,
Russia has decided to lease out its A-50 AWACS and TU-22 strategic bombers
to New Delhi.
At a press conference this evening, the visiting Russian Deputy Prime
Minister,Mr. Ilya Klebanov, said a decision had been taken to lease out as
well as sell the A-50 early warning planes and the TU-22 bombers to India.
The AWACS, which are essentially ``eyes'' in the sky, can control and direct
an air battle from their vantage positions. As a result these ``force
multipliers'' can effectively deploy fighter jets to achieve maximum effect.
Russia and India have also finalised details for the likely transfer of the
40,000 tonne aircraft carrier, Admiral Gorshkov. The ship is nearly twice
the size of INS Viraat. The deal is expected to be signed in the first
quarter of 2000, Mr. Klebanov said.
According to Mr. Klebanov, a decision had been taken to put the high
performance MiG-29K planes on board the carrier. The navy could buy at least
40 MiG-29K from Russia for the carrier Gorshkov. The presence of MiG-29s on
board the carrier is likely to enhance India's capability to defend high
value assets, such as oil terminals, industrial centers and nuclear power
stations, along its coastline.
A decision had also been taken to produce the Russian Kilo class and Amur
class submarines in India, Mr. Klebanov said. India was looking forward to
building submarines capable of firing missiles. These platforms would be
necessary to replace some of the older Foxtrot class submarines, which are
now in the process of being decommissioned.
India and Russia are expected to enhance their cooperation in building
ground to air missiles also. The two sides are negotiating the transfer of
the S-300 air defence complexes. The S-300s can be used to down in-coming
ballistic missiles. This is especially necessary on account of the
possession of the M-11, M- 9 and the Ghauri nuclear missiles by Pakistan.
Mr. Klebanov pointed out that both sides were also working on jointly
developing a new generation anti-missile system.
The visiting Russian leader pointed out that the licence production of the
SU-30 was expected to commence early next year. New Delhi and Moscow are
also actively discussing the possible sale and licence production of the
MiG-AT Advanced Jet trainers. A perspective to the future Indo-Russian joint
cooperation was provided by a defence protocol which the two sides signed
today.

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