Russia and India could soon build more military equipment together. Talks are underway for projects to produce helicopters, ships, tanks and aircraft, the Indian Defense Ministry said in a statement Friday, the Russian government-backed news outlet Tass reported.
India’s Defense Acquisition Council approved the purchase and domestic production of Russian helicopters in May. The proposed deal, worth about $471 million, came on the same day Russian President Vladimir Putin and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi talked on the phone about numerous topics, including large economic projects, the Moscow Times reported May 14. After about eight years of false starts and delays, India's Defense Acquisition Council agreed on terms to allow the country to produce Kamov Ka-226T light helicopters. Still, a contract has reportedly not yet been signed.
"No contract has been concluded in this regard between the two countries," Indian Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar said in a statement Friday, Russian outlet Sputnik News reported. "Other projects under discussion with Russia include tanks, aircraft, ships, etc."
In total, the forthcoming negotiations could result in Russia and India jointly producing some 400 Kamov Ka-226T multipurpose helicopters and three to six frigate warships and Armata tanks, Tass reported, citing anonymous sources. Talks for the Armata tanks are reportedly in the early stages.
The Armata tank has been the subject of much conversation since it debuted to the public at Moscow's Victory Day Parade in May after mock-ups first appeared in 2013. It features digital controls, unmanned turrets, heavy armor and a 125-mm gun. Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin has said its rounds can burn through a "meter of steel," Tass reported. However, some Russian officials were red-faced when an Armata tank broke down during parade rehearsals.
Russia and India have worked together to supply military equipment in the past. The two countries are working to develop a new fighter jet, a project to which India has contributed about $230 million, Sputnik reported. And India already has a deal in place for the country to produce BrahMos cruise missiles. The Indian armed forces have placed some $6 billion in orders by 2014, Tass reported.