Russia sells new batch of fighter jets to India

AP News
Posted: Dec 16, 2011 8:42 AM
Russia sells new batch of fighter jets to India

Russia signed a deal Friday to provide India with 42 fighter jets, but the two nations have failed to strike a deal on a controversial nuclear power plant.

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said that New Delhi will fit the Sukhoi Su-30MKI fighter jets with additional locally produced electronics. The jets will be assembled in India.

India had earlier signed several contracts for the delivery of 230 Su-30MKIs, most of which are being assembled locally. The long-range jets are custom-designed for the Indian Air Force.

India has been a leading customer for Russian weapons since the Soviet times, buying combat jets, missiles, navy ships and other weapons worth billions of dollars. Russian weapons still acount for the bulk of the Indian military arsenals.

Indian and Russian officials, however, failed to sign a deal to complete the Koodankulam nuclear plant in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu.

Russia had pledged to build two of the four reactors at the $3 billion plant, but the construction has been delayed due to protests by local residents concerned about the plant's safety.

As part of his two-day visit to Russia, Singh met with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev. Both leaders pledged to strengthen the decades-old bilateral ties.