Home India News Indian army chief starts five-day visit to Russia

Indian army chief starts five-day visit to Russia

By RIA Novosti,

New Delhi : Chief of Army Staff of the Indian Army, General Deepak Kapoor, will start on Monday a five-day visit to Russia, India’s Defense Ministry said earlier.

Kapoor, 60, who assumed command of the world’s second largest fighting force on September 30, 2007, is a strong supporter of a “deep” modernization of India’s armed forces.

“During the visit, Kapoor will meet with representatives from the Russian defense ministry and armed forces to discuss strengthening military ties,” the ministry said in a statement.

He will visit a Russian armored division equipped with T-90 main battle tanks, an artillery academy in St. Petersburg and the North Caucasus military district.

India and Russia have a long history of military cooperation, which goes back almost half a century. The existing Russian-Indian military-technical cooperation program, which lasts until 2010, lists up to 200 projects worth about $18 billion in all, according to Russia’s defense ministry.

In 2001 India purchased from Russia 310 T-90S tanks, which included 120 completely manufactured tanks, 90 in semi-knocked down kits, and 100 in completely-knocked down kits.

Last year some reports indicated that India may be considering buying additional 350 T-90 tanks for one of its tank divisions.

India’s former army chief visited Russia in September 2007 as part of the INDRA-2007 joint counter-terrorism exercise in Russia’s northwest Pskov Region.

Russia’s Ground Forces commander, Gen. Alexei Maslov, visited India in June last year.