New Delhi: India has signed an agreement with Russia for the purchase of R-27 air-to-air missiles capable of hitting a target ranging between 40 and 170 kilometres. The deal valued at ₹15 billion envisages equipping the most advanced Indian fighter jets, the Sukhoi-30 MKI with the R-27 missiles. Currently, India is also in the effort to equip the Sukhoi-30 MKI with the BrahMos missiles.
The government sources dispensed information on the recently concluded deal between India and Russia. An Indian Air Force official expressed confidence that the medium and long-range missiles would augment the capabilities of the Air Force. The Indian government is taking rapid steps to modernise the three defence forces. Under the initiative, the Indian Air Force is working towards equipping the most advanced, multi role fighter jet in its fleet, the Sukhoi-30 MKI, with the purchase of R-27 missiles, sources said.
The R-27 is a long-range air-to-air missile, designed to be used aboard the Sukhoi and the MiG fighter jets. The government bestowed the rights to make the necessary weapons purchase for the defence forces, after the Pulwama terrorist attack. Accordingly, the defence forces were allowed to purchase weapon systems up to ₹3 billion in three months.
Availing the provision, the Air Force purchased the Spice-2000 anti-tank missiles and a large number of spares, in the last fifty days.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi would be attending an economic conference in Russia in September. Significant defence deals are to be reportedly signed during the visit. Both countries have initiated strong efforts in that regard, and even commenced negotiations on a few agreements. Furthermore, Russia has expressed willingness to supply the Sukhoi-57, a fighter jet in the super-advanced category, to India. The Sukhoi-57 is considered to be the most advanced fighter jet in the world. As per media reports, the Indian Air Force is seriously considering the purchase of the fighter jets.