India, Ukraine deepen defense ties

Dec. 12, 2012 at 1:16 PM

KIEV, Ukraine, Dec. 12 (UPI) -- Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh met in New Delhi and signed five agreements, including one on broadening defense ties.

Ukraine is already modernizing India's 125 Antonov An-32 military transport aircraft and has been providing engines for Indian naval vessels and military spares.

As Ukraine's defense industries have been centralized under government control, India says that it can achieve a number of agreements on joint military production, as it has with the Russian Federation in producing the BrahMos stealth supersonic cruise missile, the Kyiv Post reported.

During the Soviet era Ukraine was the center of 30 percent of the U.S.S.R.'s military industrial complex, including the nation's most advanced shipyards at Nikolaev, and it is now attempting to modernize its defense industry with foreign assistance.

India is the world's largest importer of armaments, with 50-70 percent currently supplied by Russia. Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin is to visit India on Dec. 24.

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