India and Russia on Saturday announced plans to set up a joint venture to build helicopters in India, which will also buy surface-to-air missile systems from its former Cold War ally, as the two tighten their military relationship.
The pacts were signed after summit talks between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in India’s western resort state of Goa, where leaders from the BRICS group of emerging nations are meeting.
Indian military officials have said the plan is for the joint venture to build at least 200 Kamov helicopters required by the country’s defence forces, and is part of Modi’s drive to build a defence industrial base in the south Asian nation. The S-400 surface-to-air missiles are meant to strengthen India’s defences along its borders with China and Pakistan, Indian military officials have said.
India on Wednesday expressed its concern to Russia over the joint military exercise recently held between Islamabad and Moscow.
“We have conveyed our views to Russia that military cooperation with Pakistan which is a country that sponsors terrorism as a matter of state policy is a wrong approach and it will only create further problems,” India’s ambassador to Russia Pankaj Saran said.
Read more: India-Russia to sign deals on S-400 air defence system