Russia and India have no plans to sign new major contracts for military hardware supplies, including T-90 tanks, during Russian Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov's visit to India next week, a defense spokesman said on Saturday.
"No contracts for military hardware supplies are expected to be signed during the upcoming visit to India by Russian Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov," Defense Ministry chief spokesman Sergei Rybakov was quoted by the Itar-Tass news agency as saying.
However, Russia and India will sign an agreement on the production of RD-33 engines under Russian license. These engines are used in MiG-29 fighter planes. They are made by the Moscow- based Chernyshov Machine-Building Plant. If the agreement is signed, the Indian state-owned company HAL will make them under license.
Ivanov said earlier that India "has more than 1,000 Russian MiG planes -- more than in any other foreign country."
According to Ivanov, the modernization and maintenance of India 's weapons and military hardware made in the former Soviet Union and Russia are an important part of bilateral military-technical cooperation.
Rybakov did not rule out that contracts for the delivery of spare parts and units for military hardware may be signed during the visit.
"India is the only country with which we are building military- technical cooperation," the head of the Defense Ministry's Main Directorate of International Military Cooperation, Colonel-General Anatoly Mazurkevich said.
"The question of purchases remains on the agenda, but the process is moving towards cooperation, license production, and joint development."
At the end of December 2006, official military sources in New Delhi said India would buy 300 T-90 tanks from Russia. They said it would be the third such shipment over the past several years.
A bilateral agreement, signed in 2002, provided for the purchase by India of 140 tanks and the production of 186 more by Indian defense plants under Russian license.
As a result of the contract, which is estimated at about 866 million U.S. dollars, India will have more than 600 T-90 tanks.