Putin signs military helicopter, jet deals with Indian PM
NEW DELHI (AFP) - Visiting Russian President Vladimir Putin signed deals to sell 71 military helicopters and kits to build 42 fighter jets to India on Monday as he sought to firm up ties with a traditional ally.
The contract for Mi-17 helicopters was first signed in 2010 and India has now increased the order from 59 to 71, the ministry of external affairs said in its list of deals agreed by Mr Putin and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
India, which is one of the world's largest arms importers as it works to upgrade its military, depends on Russian-made military equipment that accounts for 70 per cent of its arms supplies.
"Russia is a key partner in our efforts to modernise our armed forces and enhance our defence preparedness," Dr Singh said after holding talks with Putin and signing ten deals ranging from science and technology to education.