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CCS discusses defence deals to be inked during Putin visit

New Delhi: India is expected to sign defence deals worth over USD four billion for procuring additional 42 Su-30MKI combat jets and 59 Mi-17V5 choppers during the visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday.

The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh discussed the proposals in detail at a meeting here this evening, sources said.

Russia is also keen on signing the deal for supplying 970 AL-31 engines for the 272 Su-30MKIs which are the mainstay of the Indian Air Force inventory.

The 42 Su-30MKIs will add to the firepower of the IAF and after this procurement, the number of these aircraft will be around 272, they said.

During the Indo-Russian Defence Minister-level meeting in October, the two sides had discussed the upgrade programme of the existing inventory of these aircraft in the IAF.

The 59 Mi-17V5 choppers are to be used by the IAF to replace its fleet of the existing old versions of the Mi-17s and Mi-8s.

The force has started receiving the Mi-17V5s from a previous order of 80 such machines and even started deploying them at various locations including Bathinda, Srinagar and Baghdogra in West Bengal.

India is also expected to soon ink a deal for the design and development of the fifth generation fighter aircraft for the IAF.

India is one of the biggest importers of the Russian weaponry and even after diversifying its sources of acquisition, operates over 50 per cent of Russian-origin weapon systems.


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