India, Russia agree to missile sales, joint venture for helicopters

October 15, 2016 4:59 AM EDT

Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) shakes hand with India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a photo opportunity ahead of India-Russia Annual Summit in Benaulim, in the western state of Goa, India, October 15, 2016. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui


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By Douglas Busvine and Denis Pinchuk

GOA, India (Reuters) - 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.

(Writing by Sanjeev Miglani; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)



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