Benaulim, Goa: India and Russia on Saturday signed several major agreements, including two key defence deals following a bilateral meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the 8th BRICS summit in Goa.
After their nearly two-hour long talks, which began with a warm handshake this morning, the two leaders witnessed the signing of a Rs 39,000 crore defence deal to procure Moscow's most advanced anti-aircraft defence system - S 400 Triumph, which will provide India a ballistic missile shield.
In another key deal which is being seen as a huge boost for the Modi government's Make in India initiative, India will initially import and then manufacture Russian Kamov Ka-226 T light utility helicopters. India and Russia will also collaborate in making four state of art Admiral Grigorovich-class (Project 11356) guided-missile stealth frigates.
The two countries have also agreed to conduct an annual military conference.
PM Modi said the "highly productive" outcomes of the meeting clearly establish the special and privileged nature of strategic partnership between the two countries.
"They also lay the foundations for deeper defence and economic ties in years ahead. The agreements on manufacturing of Kamov 226T helicopters; constructions of frigates; and acquisition and building of other defence platforms are in synergy with India's technology and security priorities," the PM said.
India is the world's top defence importer and is undergoing a $100-billion upgrade of its mostly Soviet-era military equipment. India was the erstwhile Soviet Union's closest military ally during the Cold War and a major importer of its military hardware. But in recent years Delhi has turned to the United States for supplies, as the two nations forge stronger ties.
Analysts suggest that India's big Russian push once again should also be seen in the context of the recent joint military exercises that Russia had with the Pakistani forces.
The two leaders also laid the foundation of Unit 3 and 4 of the Kudankulam nuclear plant.
Russia and India also plans to closely work in the area of energy and infrastructure. The two nations have signed a deal to pave the way for a group led by Russian oil major Rosneft to acquire a stake India's Essar Oil.