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India to pursue fighter development with Russia

India is getting more and more involved with Russia with regards to the development of the next generation of fighter jet. This is a challenge as India is also negotiating with European partners such as Dassault to potentially purchase the Rafale. And one can think that all is linked with regards to Technology transfers. In December 2010, Russian state arms exporter Rosoboronexport, India’s Hindustan Aeronautics Limited and Russian aircraft maker Sukhoi Company signed a preliminary design development contract worth $295 million for the new aircraft. Currently the $11 billion final design and research-and-development contract is under negotiation between the two countries. The total program is expected to cost India about $25 billion to 30 billion. India has emerged as the world’s biggest arms importer as it tries to update archaic weapons systems to keep up with neighbours China and Pakistan in a $100 billion modernisation drive. The government wants to encourage private Indian companies to partner with foreign suppliers to reduce its reliance in imports and help develop a domestic defence industry that has so far been beholden to underperforming public sector companies.

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