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Russia, India Sign Defense Deals Worth Billions

  • RFE/RL

An S-400 Triumf antiaircraft missile system (file photo)

An S-400 Triumf antiaircraft missile system (file photo)

Russia and India have signed defense deals worth billions of dollars on missile systems, helicopters, and frigates at a meeting of the leaders of the two countries in the southern India state of Goa.

Key agreements signed October 15 included deals under which India would procure Russian S-400 Triumf missile systems that can be used against aerial targets within a 400-kilometer range, joint manufacture of Russian Kamov 226T helicopters, and procurement of four 11356 frigates for the Indian armed forces.

News media estimate the total worth of the Indian military purchases from Russia in the billions of dollars. There was no official confirmation of what the deals were worth.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi also remotely inaugurated a project to build two new reactors at the Kudankulam nuclear power plant in Tamil Nadu state, which is being developed with Russian technology.

This would be the third and fourth phases of the Kudankulam nuclear power station, part of 12 nuclear plants that Russia is building in India.

The two leaders also signed an agreement for the fifth and sixth reactors of the power plant.

Putin and Modi met on the sidelines of the BRICS summit of five emerging economies. In addition to Russia and India, BRICS comprises Brazil, China, and South Africa.

India, the world's top defense importer, is spending $100 billion to upgrade its Soviet-era military hardware as it looks to protect its borders from archrival Pakistan and an increasingly assertive China.

The meeting also provide the two leaders an opportunity to discuss differences that have cropped up between them in the past few years.

Russia has been wary of India's growing engagement with the United States, including a recent military logistics agreement.

India was expected to raise its concern about Russia's growing ties with Pakistan. Russia and Pakistan recently conducted joint military exercises.

With reporting by dpa, AFP, TASS, and AP
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