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Russia to power India's Lakshya

October 26, 2006 20:25 IST

Russia will supply rocket engines for India's unmanned aerial vehicle Lakshya under a $100 million deal although transfer of technology under license could be withheld due to international ban on missile technologies, a media report said on Thursday.

Russian jet engine manufacturer NPO Saturn will supply 200 miniature engines to India for Lakshya UAVs in 2007, according to Kommersant.

"The engines for India with 500 kg thrust will be developed on the basis of TRDD-50MT engine, originally designed for Soviet cruise missiles. Its flight resource will be enhanced from the present 45 minutes to tens of hours," Kommersant quoted deputy commercial director (exports) of NPO Saturn Igor Grigorie as saying.

According to commercial director of NPO Saturn Vasily Danilov, the first one-year contract with India was signed in April and the design and experiment work is already underway.

All aspects of transfer of license for production of TRDD-50MT are under study by FSVTS, which may not give its nod because of New Delhi's plans to develop a cruise missile with the range of 600 km and capable of carrying 350

kg payload on the basis of Lakshya.

"Such missiles fall under the MTCR and Russia honours this regime. With licensed production India would uncontrollably put these engines on UAVs and cruise missiles," an official of FSVTS told Kommersant.

The NPO Saturn officials underscored that at present the deal does not violate Russia's international obligations under Missile Technology Control Regime as it does not involve transfer of technology.

However, in the next stage of the contract India wants licensed production of these engines in the country and the deal could have a rough time, the daily said.

"We do not rule out setting up licensed production and testing facilities in India," Danilov was quoted as saying by the daily.

As long as India uses these engines for UAVs or drones, there is no problem in their export, Kommersant quoted sources in Federal Service for Military-technical cooperation, the arms export oversight body.

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