Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Antony calls for clearance of weapon spares- Progress of MTA “tardy.”

Neelam Mathews
Oct 5, 2011

As India and Russia held their annual meeting to review the defense ties in Moscow on Oct 4, with a protocol signed after the Eleventh meeting of the India-Russia Inter-governmental Commission on Military Technical, co-chaired by the Defense Minister AK Antony and his Russian counterpart A.E Serdyukov, Antony expressed India’s concern at the tardy progress made in the design and development of the Multi-Role Transport Aircraft (MTA).

Antony also pointed out the vexing issue of delayed export clearances for vital repair equipment for already contracted weapons systems affecting supplies of defense equipment and spares. 

Reconfirming the delivery timeline of Aircraft Carrier INS Vikramaditya, Antony said: ‘We are keenly awaiting the induction of the Aircraft Carrier into the Indian Navy.  This project has attracted considerable public attention in India.  We hope that the induction will take place, on schedule, by end 2012. We also hope that all activities on the MiG-29K are completed to achieve synchronization with the aircraft carrier.”

“Various steps have been taken ‘to deepen interaction in the development of defense technologies, modernization of military equipment and joint manufacture of military-purpose products,” says a MoD statement.

On the Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA), being jointly designed and developed by India and Russia, the first stage of the preliminary design contract has been completed “and the second stage of the PD Contract is to be finalized before September, 2012.” 

The training program for Indian engineers covering nearly 20 courses was completed in July, 2011. Both agreed to continue discussions for finalization of the R&D contract as per the agreed time lines of the general contract signed in December, 2008.     

The Russians are also believed to have given their views on India’s offsets policy.

The Indian delegation included Defense Secretary Shashikant Sharma, Secretary Defense Production Shekhar Aggarwal, Indian Ambassador Ajai Malhotra, Lt Gen MS Buttar, Air Marshal RK Sharma, Vice Admiral NN Kumar, Chief Controller of Research & Development of DRDO Avinash Chander, CMD HAL Ashok Nayak and DG Acquisition, Vivek Rae.

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