Russia In Talks With India To Upgrade Its Fleet Of IL-76 Planes

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Russia is negotiating an agreement with India to modernize the South Asian country’s aging fleet of IL-76 transport aircraft and IL-78 aerial refuelers, according to report from Economic Timers.

India’s Air Force is seeking the Defense Ministry’s approval for its proposal for a comprehensive upgrade of its fleet of Russian transport aircraft earlier this month. The proposed upgrade included new engines to increase the service life of the aircraft by more than 15 years, according to the report.

The IL-76 is known to the Indian Air Force as “Gajraj.” India received the first delivery of the aircraft from Russia in 1983. The IL-76 served as the main heavy lift aircraft of the Indian Air Force prior to the arrival if the Boeing C 17 aircraft in 2013.

Russia hosts world’s largest airshow

Russia is currently hosting the MAKS 2015, the world’s largest air show in the city of Zhukovsky, Moscow region. Major aircraft manufacturers including Airbus and Boeing are participating in the event.

Yuri Slusar, president of United Aircraft Corporation, a joint-stock company majority-owned by the Russian government, said it received a new contract to supply SU-35 multi-role fighters to the Russian Air Force. Russia is expected to sign the contract by the end of this year.

According to him, United Aircraft Corporation’s first contract to supply 48 SU-35 multi-role fighters is underway.

Russia remains the primary supplier of weapons to India

Last week, Pundi Srinivasan Raghavan, the Ambassador of India to Russia said the two countries are current working on a number of joint projects involving aviation, engineering, infrastructure, research, and development.

According to the Indian Ambassador, Russia is interested in technology transfers and the joint production of Sukhoi Superjets in India under the “Make in India” project. Both countries already conducted initial discussions on the issue.

India launched the “Make in India” project last year to attract financing to 25 sectors of the country’s economy. The Indian government allows 100% direct foreign investment in most sectors under the project.

India invited the defense enterprises in Russia to participate in the program. Russia is still a major supplier of weapons to India, according to Russian Alexander Kadakin.

Kadakin recently stated, “A statement that Russia has lost its positions on the weaponry market in India is very exaggerated. We are still holding the leading, unique position in the sphere of direct supplies and joint Russia-India production of weapons and military equipment.”

The Russian Ambassador said Russia supplied 80% of the current equipment of India’s Navy and 70% of its Air Force’s hardware. The countries have long-terms weapon sales cooperation from 2011 to 2020 with a budget of more than $35 billion. Kadakin added that Russia is India’s primary partner in modernizing its Armed Forces.

In 2013, the South Asian country bought weapons and military equipment including nuclear submarines, jet fighters, and battle tanks worth $4.78 billion from Russia.

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