Defence secretary to review military projects

Months before the delivery of $ 2.33 billion Russian-origin aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya, Defence Secretary R K Mathur has reached Moscow with other senior service officials to ensure smooth transition of what will be one of India’s most crucial naval assets.

By the year-end, Russia is expected to deliver the gigantic warship, which will be berthed in Karwar in north Karnataka.

Besides the talks on the Vikramaditya (formerly Admiral Gorshkov), the defence secretary-led delegation would also discuss the design and development issues concerning the bilateral Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft project in which Hindustan Aeronautics Limited is a major partner.

The preliminary design phase of the project was completed on June 19. India is likely to spend about $ 36 billion (approximately Rs 1.8 lakh crore) to develop and produce the fifth generation fighter planes. IAF plans to induct 250-300 of them by 2030.

“This is the biggest defence programme ever in the history of India involving production of over 250 aircraft,” HAL stated after inking the design contract. The research and development contract of FGFA is under negotiation between the two countries to define the total scope, work share and responsibilities of each side, as well as the cost, which will be shared by the two partner nations.

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