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Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin in a phone conversation on Thursday reiterated their commitment to further strengthen the special and privileged strategic partnership between Russia and India in all spheres.

Prime Minister Modi on Thursday called President Putin to congratulate him on the success of the celebrations marking the 75th anniversary of the victory in World War II, and also for the successful completion of the vote on constitutional amendments in Russia.

An Indian armed forces contingent participated in the Victory Parade held in Moscow on June 24, as a symbol of abiding friendship between the people of India and Russia.

Modi and Putin talked about the effective measures undertaken by the two countries to address the negative consequences of the global Covid-19 pandemic and agreed on the importance of closer India-Russia ties for jointly addressing the challenges of the post-Covid world.

Sochi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi with the Russian President Vladimir Putin in Sochi, Russia on May 21, 2018. (Photo: IANS/PIB) by .
Sochi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi with the Russian President Vladimir Putin in Sochi, Russia. (Photo: IANS/PIB)

The two leaders agreed to maintain the momentum of bilateral contacts and consultations, leading to the annual bilateral summit to be held in India later this year. Modi also conveyed his keenness to welcome Putin in India for the bilateral summit.

The Russian President also thanked Modi for the phone call.

More MiG-21

Amid the tense situation at the border with China, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday approved a proposal for procurement of 21 MiG-29 fighter aircraft, along with upgradation of 59 Mig-29s, and 12 more Su-30 MKI aircraft.

To strengthen the armed forces for defending the borders, the Defence Acquisition Council meeting, chaired by Rajnath Singh, accorded approval for capital acquisitions of various platforms and equipment required by the three services.

“Proposals for an approximate cost of Rs 38,900 crore were approved,” a Defence Ministry statement said.

While the MiG-29 procurement and upgradation from Russia is estimated to cost Rs 7,418 crore, the Su-30 MKIs will be procured from HAL at an estimated cost of Rs 10,730 crore.

Focused on indigenous design and development, these approvals include acquisitions, amounting to Rs 31,130 crore, from Indian industry.

These equipment will be manufactured in India by the Indian defence industry with participation of several MSMEs as prime tier vendors.

The indigenous content in some of these projects is up to 80 per cent of the project cost.

A large number of these projects have been made possible due to transfer of technology by the Defence Research & Development Organisation to indigenous industry.

Moscow: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh pays tributes to Mahatma Gandhi at the Indian Embassy in Moscow on June 23, 2020. (Photo: IANS/PIB) by .
Moscow: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh pays tributes to Mahatma Gandhi at the Indian Embassy in Moscow. (Photo: IANS/PIB)

These include Pinaka missiles, BMP armament upgrades and software defined radios for the Indian Army, and long-range land attack Cruise missile systems and Astra missiles for the Indian Navy and Indian Air Force.

The cost of these design and development proposals is in the range of Rs 20,400 crore.

Acquisition of new and additional missile systems will add to the fire power of three services.

While the acquisition of more Pinaka missile systems will enable raising additional regiments over and above the ones already inducted, addition of long-range land attack missile systems having a firing range of 1,000 km to the existing arsenal will bolster the attack capabilities of the navy and the IAF.

Vladivostok: Prime Minister Narendra Modi meets Russian President Vladimir Putin in Vladivostok, Russia on Sep 4, 2019. (Photo: IANS/MEA) by .
Vladivostok: Prime Minister Narendra Modi meets Russian President Vladimir Putin in Vladivostok, Russia. (Photo: IANS/MEA)

Similarly induction of Astra missiles having beyond visual range (BVR) capability will serve as a force multiplier and immensely add to the strike capability of the Indian Navy and IAF.

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