NEW DELHI, May 31. /TASS/. Russia and India plan to launch joint production of military hardware, which is a big progress in bilateral relations, Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj said on Sunday.
"Our military technical cooperation with Russia was based on a ‘seller-buyer’ scheme: they sold weapons, we bought," she told a news conference dedicated to summing up the results of the first year of work of the new Indian government. "But it [the format of cooperation] has changed. Russia has decided to manufacture weapons in India and also to manufacture them jointly with us handing over relevant technologies."
Speaking about relations with Russia in general, the Indian foreign minister noted that the two countries had relations of confidence. "Russia is our time-tested friend," she said.
India has been manufacturing military hardware under Russian licenses since 1967, when the national aircraft-building corporation Hindustan Aeronautics Limited assembled the first MiG-21 plane. In 1998, Russia and India established a joint venture, BrahMos Aerospace to turn out BrahMos ultrasonic cruise missiles.
Currently, the two countries are completing negotiations on the establishment of a joint venture for the production of multipurpose Ka-226T helicopters. Apart from that, the sides plan to export jointly manufactured BrahMos missiles and Ka-226T helicopetsr to third countries.