India"Not Satisfied" With Joint Indo- Russia Multi-Role Transport Aircraft Project

 Indo-Russian Joint project to develop a multi-role transport aircraft is facing hurdles after the Centre raised objections over the business plan proposed by Moscow for the project.

India was "not satisfied" over the business plan submitted by the Russian side as there was nothing much for its engineers and scientists to do in the development of the proposed aircraft, Defence Ministry sources said here.

Defence Minister AK Antony had expressed India's views on the issue to his Russian counterpart Anatoly E Serdyukov during his visit to the European nation earlier this month for the 11th meeting of the India-Russia Inter-Governmental Commission on Military Technical Cooperation (IRIGC-MTC).

The two sides have now decided to hold a meeting next month to iron out the differences, the sources said.

Antony had also expressed concern at the tardy progress made in the design and development of the MTA.

The two countries want the issues related to the aircraft to be resolved before the visit of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to Russia in December.

The project has already got delayed. The Defence Ministry had last year said it would start by beginning of this year.

The Hindustan Aeronautics Limited and Russian Companies UAC Transport Aircraft and Rosonboronexport had signed a shareholders' agreement to incorporate a Joint Venture Company for design, development and production of MTA.

The agreement was in pursuance to a deal signed between India and Russian on November 12, 2007 for design, development and production of a MTA.

The Joint Venture Company will have 50:50 shareholding and the investment for the programme was worked out to be USD 600.7 million.


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