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Russia to Sign About US$1 Bln Military Contract with India in 2007
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Russia will supply India with 310 advanced tanks T-90S worth US$930 million, fitted out with a computerized firing system. An appropriate contract is expected to be signed in 2007, the Russian Defense Ministry said on Thursday.

"Details of the coming deal are now being worked out by the two defense ministries. They will be also discussed at a meeting of the Russian-Indian intergovernmental commission on military cooperation late in January in New Delhi," an official in the ministry was quoted by the Itar-Tass news agency as saying.

"The meeting, which is expected to be attended by Russian vice- premier and Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov, should stimulate the signing of a contract in 2007 for deliveries to India of 310 tanks T-90S worth US$930 million," the official said.

It is also planned that the Russian and Indian defense ministers will discuss "joint development and production of a medium-range military transport plane and a light warplane of the fifth generation" at their meeting in New Delhi, the official said.

Earlier, military sources in New Delhi reported that India would purchase in Russia 300 tanks T-90. According to their data, the new batch of advanced T-90 will be the third over the past few years. The bilateral contract signed in 2002, provided for purchasing by India of 140 units of this powerful combat hardware and manufacturing of another 186 such tanks under the Russian license at Indian munitions factories.

As a result of fulfilling the new defense order, the cost of which is assessed at 39 billion rupees (around US$866 million) , the number of T-90 tanks at armor units of the Indian army will top 600 units. They are expected to come to India within two years.

The latest computerized system to be installed on T-90 tanks for the delivery to India, was worked out by the Belarussian Beltek Company and is designed to conduct target firing under combat conditions both at daytime and at night.

According to military sources in New Delhi, Indian makers of T- 90s also intend to conclude a direct deal with Beltek so as to purchase directly equipment for tanks they produce. The deal may cost €110 million.

(Xinhua News Agency December 29, 2006)

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