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By Bulbul Singh

12 Dec 05. The signing of the defense Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) agreement between India and Russia on December 6th in Moscow will shift the defense ties between the two countries from license production basis to joint development of new defense programs. After nearly one year of negotiations India and Russia signed the IPR which will provide for mutual copyright protection in military and technical cooperation The IPR will be applicable to all futuristic sales, and upgrade programmes undertaken by India on Russian weapons and equipment. The delay in the IPR agreement had stalled the sale of several Russian defense projects to India including the leasing of the TU 22 bomber for the Indian Navy, lease of two Akula class submarines, sale of SMERCH multibarrel rocket launchers with a range of up to 90 kilometers, and up gradation of several of India’s air defense systems. Russia wanted to resolve the IPR issue before augmenting any sales of weapons and equipment to India, said an Indian defense ministry official. The Russians also wanted that India procure spares for weapons and equipment bought from Russia itself and not go to the CIS countries.

The Russians have said that the CIS countries had been directly approaching the Indian government for supply of majority of the spares and other military hardware.

The IPR agreement takes care of the supply of spares, and up gradation of Russian platforms by third country said an executive of Rosoboronoexport of Russia in New Delhi office. However an Indian defense ministry official said the issue of spares is still open indicating that the issue of spares has yet to be resolved.

Russia will now get royalty on upgrading of its platforms in India when the upgrade is done by a third country. A formula has been worked out to the satisfaction of the two countries, said the Indian defense ministry official.

India needs to urgently upgrade its air defense systems including the Pechora, Igla, and other Russian made air defense systems. The upgrade of eight TU 142 aircraft by the Indian Navy will also be upgraded by Israel, as wanted by the Indian Navy after paying some royalty to the Russian, said the Indian defense ministry official. The IPR agreement will pave the way for the joint development of a Multirole Transport Aircraft and the fifth generation aircraft for the Indian Air force. India and Russia will work out the modalities of the two projects as early as possible, said the Indian defense ministry official.

India and Russia plan to co-design, co-develop and co-produce a Multi-Role Transport aircraft jointly to meet the requirements of Indian, Russian and other customers. The aircraft will be in the 1520 ton payload class and will be suitable for military roles such as the transport of materiel and personnel as well as para-dropping and have short take-off and landing run, and will be capable of operating from semi-prepared strips.

It will be powered by two turbofan engines with Full Authority Digital Engine Control (FADEC), compatible with Fly-by-Wire control system.

HAL and its Russian partners (Irkutsk Aviation and Industrial Association, llyushin Aviation Complex and Rosoboronexport) will invest jointly in the project. It is estimated that the ratio of fund sharing would be fifty-fifty between the two countries.

The preliminary design of the fifth generation fighter will be ready in 2007 and developed by Russia’s Sukhoy Aviation Military and Industrial Complex and India’s Defense Research and Development Organisation, DRDO, said sources adding that the requirement of the Indian Air Force will be kept in mind when developing the fifth generation aircraft.

India and Russia have jointly developed the BrahMos anti ship supersonic cruise missile in the last five years but Russia wanted that an IPR be signed before more hi-tech de

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