NEW DELHI: New Delhi and Moscow are negotiating the organisation of the India-based production of semi-cryogenic rocket engines using Russian technology for the South Asian country’s space programme, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chairman Kailasavadivoo Sivan said in an interview.
“Russia is offering its semi-cryogenic rocket engine technology to India under the ‘Make-in-India’ programme. The rocket engines could be made in India and used in our rockets”, Sivan said.
According to the official, this issue is currently under discussion, and no specific agreements have been reached yet.
“What has been finalised is the agreement to train Indian cosmonauts by Russia for our human space mission Gaganyaan”, the head of the Indian space agency added.
The media earlier repeatedly reported about India’s interest in Russian rocket engines without specifying either the type or model of the engine. Last week, the head of Russian space agency Roscosmos, Dmitry Rogozin, said that Russia might sell RD-180 engines to India. Russia’s RD-180 engines are now exported to the United States.
India plans to send its first crewed mission, set to include three astronauts, into space by 2022, to mark the 75th anniversary of its independence, with Russia set to assist it. Indian Ambassador to Russia Bala Venkatesh Varma earlier told Sputnik that Russia and India would start cooperating on the matter as early as 2019.
Russia has also offered longer-range missiles to the Indian Air Force after the latter placed orders worth over $700 million for air-to-air missiles and guided missiles following the February Kashmir dogfight with Pakistan.
Additionally, the Indian Army also requested that Russia supply launchers and missiles for its defence systems, including multi-barrel launchers.
According to one Indian defence official, New Delhi has placed orders for over 300 short-range R-73 air-to-air missiles and 400 medium-range RVV-AE air-to-air guided missiles. The order also includes a Russian-made radar-jamming missile, the X-31.
Russia’s negotiation team has been “discussing the order with the Indian team” and both countries will soon conclude the purchase order, a source revealed.
In March, the Russian missile maker Vympel, which is part of Russia’s consolidated JSC Tactical Missiles Corporation (KTRV), offered the RVV-MD short-range missile, the RVV-SD medium-range missile, and the RVV-BD long-range missile to India.
The RVV-MD is the export model of the R-74, which has much better range than what India is currently using.
Russia also has the K-74M2 (izdeliye 760) missile, which is an improved variant featuring a reduced cross-section for the Sukhoi Su-57, that is intended to match Western missiles such as the AIM-9X and ASRAAM.
India and Pakistan engaged in their first air clash in decades when on 26 February Indian fighter jets violated Pakistani airspace and conducted a “non-military, pre-emptive” air strike in Balakot inside Pakistan to destroy infrastructure allegedly belonging to the terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed.
The jihadi outfit had claimed responsibility for the Pulwama attack on 14 February in which 40 Indian soldiers were killed in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir on the National Highway. (IPA Service)
Courtesy: Sputnik News