Indian Air Force (IAF) chief Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha on Monday began his six-day visit to Russia during which he will meet top military officials as the two countries eye key projects like the one for joint development of fifth generation fighter aircraft and upgrade of Su30-MKI planes, besides other programmes.
The visit comes just days after India and Russia announced deals worth over USD 12 billion, including the S400 Triumf air defence systems which will be operated by the IAF. “The visit is intended to take the existing defence cooperation between the Air Forces of the two countries to the next level,” a statement by the IAF said.
The areas of cooperation presently include military and technical cooperation, exchange visits and air exercises. During his visit to Russia, Raha is scheduled to hold talks with senior military leaders and discuss a wide range of bilateral issues on the ongoing defence cooperation. He will also visit various Air Force and defence establishments.
Raha’s visit to Russia would provide further impetus towards increasing defence cooperation and deepening the bonds of friendship between the two Air Forces, the statement said.