India and Russia have signed a $250-million agreement that enables India to manufacture Russian RD-33 aviation engines under a licencing arrangement. Russia's Defence Minister Sergei Ivanov signed the agreement in New Delhi today. |
Under the deal HAL would manufacture 120 RD33 series three engines at its Koraput plant to upgrade IAFs MiG-29 fighter fleet.
The deal, according to analysts, would help HAL master the assembly of next generation jet engines, including the RD-33MK engines meant for deck-based MiG-29K naval fighters being acquired by the Indian Navy as part of the Gorshkov (INS Vikramaditya) aircraft carrier deal.
The engine deal would also enable HAL to develop thrust-vectoring engines (OVT) for the MiG-35 fighter, which is in contention for the $9 billion dollar IAF MRCA tender.(See: HAL signs deal for local manufacture of MiG-29 RD33 engines)
Ivanov also told journalists that Russia was ready to negotiate with India to participate in developing a Russian fifth generation fighter jet expected in 2009.
Russia is India's biggest military hardware supplier.