posted on Jan, 9 2005 @ 09:01 AM
NEW DELHI: India and Russia said on Thursday they have agreed on new investments in a joint supersonic cruise missile project and that they plan to
draft an intellectual property deal to patent weapons systems they are developing together.
The announcements by Indian Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee and his Russian counterpart Sergei Ivanov came hours before Russian President Vladimir
Putin was set to fly to New Delhi, as the Cold War-era allies look at expanding trade and cooperation in defence, energy and space.
The intellectual property agreement could be ready within five months, Mukherjee said. The two sides also agreed to work out "mutually acceptable"
conditions on leasing long-range TU-22 bombers.
The Brahmos, an anti-ship missile developed jointly by India and Russia, has a target range of 290 kms and can carry up to a 300 kgs of conventional
warhead. It is capable of launching from ships, submarines, planes and land. Russian Defence Minister Ivanov also said the two countries would hold
their first joint military exercises in India involving paratroopers next year.
"In the coming days executive orders will be passed so that the share of Russiaís side in the project will be scaled up," he said of the project to
build the BrahMos cruise missile. "India, Russia relationship has now moved from a buyer-seller relationship to joint technology development of new
projects," he added. "There has been happy developments and the Russian president will be visiting the BrahMos complex and it has been decided that
there will be fresh investment into the project," said Pranab Mukherjee.
"The Russian government has given an assurance that there will be a comfort period (in the supply chain)," Ivanov told reporters at a joint press
conference with Mukherjee on the eve of Putinís arrival.
Putinís arrival in New Delhi was delayed by a few hours due to an urgent meeting with outgoing Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma over the countryís
political crisis, Press Trust of India quoted Kremlin spokesman Alexei Gromov as saying.
During the presidentís three-day visit, India and Russia will sign an agreement on exploring peaceful uses of outer space, the inclusion of India in
the Russia-promoted Global Satellite Navigation System and improving banking ties, officials said.