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India and Russia Solidifying Military Links

New deals include agreements on air defenses and submarines

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Originally appeared at Sputnik

The Russian and Indian defense ministers signed a military-technical cooperation agreement in followup to the India-Russia Intergovernmental Commission for Military-Technical Cooperation (IRIGC-MTC), the Russian Defense Ministry press service said Monday.

"A protocol aimed at developing bilateral Russian-Indian relations in the military-technical field was signed following the commission meeting," the press service told reporters.

Indian Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar, following talks with his Russian counterpart Sergei Shoigu, called Moscow a "privileged" strategic partner in the field.

"We have very close and strong connections in the area of defense. Russia has been and remains to date India’s leading partner," Parrikar, who arrived in Moscow for the IRIGC-MTC on Friday, said.

Parrikar said earlier that he expected to sign an S-400 Triumf air defense system contract with Moscow. Cmdr. Abhijit Singh, serving officer of the Indian Navy, told Sputnik last week that New Delhi was planning to lease Russian-made Akula II-class submarines.

Russia is among India’s foremost weapons suppliers. Over two-thirds of the Indian Army, Air Force and Navy military equipment is Russian- or Soviet-made.

IRIGC-MTC was established in 2000 to enhance bilateral cooperation in the military sphere. It is co-chaired by Parrikar and Shoigu.

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