Defence secretary to visit Russia next week

Progress made in Admiral Gorshkov aircraft carrier project and pricing of fifth generation fighter aircraft project will be discussed during Defence Secretary Radha Krishna Mathur`s visit to Moscow.

New Delhi: Progress made in the Admiral Gorshkov aircraft carrier project and issues over the pricing of the under-development fifth generation fighter aircraft project are expected to be discussed during Defence Secretary Radha Krishna Mathur`s visit to Moscow next week.
The Defence Secretary is leading a high-level tri-services team comprising three-star rank officers from the three Services and the status of ongoing projects such as Gorshkov and FGFA are expected to come up for discussion, sources told.

In the delegation-level talks scheduled to be held on Monday, the two sides are also expected to discuss the futuristic joint development projects for the armed forces, they said.

However, it is not clear whether the Indian side will raise the issue of mishap on its Kilo Class submarine INS Sindhurakshak, which had come back from Russia a few months ago after an extensive refurbishment in a shipyard there and is believed to under warranty till January 2014.

It is learnt that the two sides are also planning to discuss the upgrade of one more Kilo Class submarine INS Sindhushastra, the last of the 10 submarines procured by India from Russia.

Navy sources said India is not likely to seek the help of the Russian equipment manufacturers for their investigations as it has been operating the Kilos for over two decades and has the required expertise to find out the reasons behind the blast that led to the sinking of the ship.

India had procured ten Kilo class vessels from Russia in early 1980s and the deliveries were made in 14 years from 1986 to 2000.

The visit by the Defence Secretary to Russia was scheduled in June but had to be postponed as Mathur had just taken over his new responsibility at that time.
PTI

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