Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, сenter, gives an interview to journalists during the ceremony of handing the aircraft carrier Vikramaditya to India. Source: Alexander Yemelyaninkov
India's Minister of Defense A K Antony and his Russian partners are discussing the prospects of Russian-Indian Military-Technical Cooperation in Moscow today.
A renewed enthusiasm was generated for the present session of the India–Russia Inter-Governmental Commission on Military Technical Cooperation (IRIGC- MTC) after the delivery of the carrier Vikramaditya to the Indian Navy. This happened at noon last Saturday in the harbour of the Russian Navy Yard Sevmash, where this warship was truly reborn.
Russian Deputy Prime- Minister and India's Minster of Defense A K Anthony together with the crew and the fleet introduction team took part in the induction ceremony. The Indian ambassador Ajai Malhotra and Navy Chief Admiral D K Joshi and his Russian counterpart Admiral Viktor Chirkov flew from Dehli to Moscow specifically for this event. The transfer deed of the carrier was signed in their presence by Igor Sevastyanov, the deputy director of Russian arms exporter Rosoboronexport and Commodore Suraj Berry, the commanding officer of Vikramaditya.
After this ceremony the Russian flag on the vessel was lowered and the Indian Navy flag was raised in its place. To the strains of the State Hymn the white-blue-red tricolored flag was removed and passed on to Navy Chief Admiral Chirkov. After about a minute India's Navy flag was hoisted and dressing flags were raised over the flight deck.
“I am very happy that we have executed this order,” Deputy Prime-Minister Dmitri Rogozin shared during a short meeting with journalists which was held right on the deck. “During the last year and a half there was a really strict regime of controlling the tests of the warship and the finishing of the technical work. What we have here is the result of our work: we made a deal to deliver the aircraft carrier on November 16 and so we are passing it on to you today. This is a clear sign that our shipbuilding industry has recovered not only its competence, but also a strict discipline...”
According to Rogozin, this is important both while working with foreign partners and while carrying out defense procurements. During the official ceremony the Russian Deputy Prime-Minister had pointed out that India is Russia's privileged strategic partner and that the extent of our Military-Technical Cooperation will keep on growing.
“India is our friend, and Russians care about their friends – whether they are safe or at risk. The addition of this aircraft carrier to the Indian Navy will act as a serious investment into the country's safety,” Rogozin said.
Answering questions to RIR’s reporters about the forthcoming meeting of the IRIGC-MTC, the Deputy Prime- Minister specifically pointed out that Military-Technical Cooperation issues will be carefully observed. According to him, the meeting of several target groups is in the works. One of them will deal with the shipbuilding industry. Rogozin says that his Indian counterparts are ready to develop and deepen such cooperation. As this takes place the Indian government and the Main HQ of the Indian Navy should decide what type of ships they will need in the nearest future. The future work will be carried out having taken into account these requests.
According to the Deputy Prime-Minister, the helicopter industry is the second item on the agenda.
“We have some serious proposals to our Indian partners which concern not only the sale of helicopter equipment. I am speaking about other things. Taking into account the fact that our relations with India have taken up the form of a strategic partnership, we would like to propose to substantially localize the manufacturing process on India's territory. We are ready to make such an offer regarding the Kamov helicopters as soon as today,” Rogozin said.
If the Indian side will show signs that it is interested in such cooperation, then Rosoboronexport is ready to build three or four more carriers as per the 11356 project, which will be equipped with a guided missile BrahMos system. In June 2013, the INS Trikand, a ship of the 11356 project was delivered to the Indian Navy which was built by the Baltic shipyard Yantar. Consequently the contract regarding the building of three more modernized 11356 frigates with a guided missile BrahMos system for the Indian Navy was executed by the joint Indian-Russian manufacturing team, representatives from Rosoboronexport say.
One of these frigates, which was built in Kaliningrad and was already included in the operating strength unit is set to meet the Vikramaditya ship at the hedge of Russian territorial waters and to convoy it during the whole route up till the Karwar naval station on India's western coast. Another cargo tank will go with them filled with diesel gas oil for refueling. It is possible that in the Central Atlantic region, in the Gibraltar area another ship and Indian Navy frigate will join the convoy.
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