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India Training Malaysian Pilots in Russian Jets

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  • India Training Malaysian Pilots in Russian Jets

    SOURCE: Defense News
    DATE: JAN 07, 2008
    BY: Vivek Raghuvanshi

    India Training Malaysian Pilots in Russian Jets

    NEW DELHI — Under the terms of a recent bilateral defense agreement, India will help Malaysia train pilots and maintain its Russian-made Sukhoi fighters at Indian facilities and will also help train Malaysian engineers to overhaul the aircraft.

    The agreement was signed during Indian Defence Minister A.K. Antony’s three-day visit to Kuala Lumpur that began Jan. 6.

    India will train 55 Malaysian military personnel, including 15 officers and 40 technicians, a Defence Ministry official here said.

    Last month, the two countries also signed a protocol for the training of Royal Malaysian Air Force pilots on their Su-30MKM aircraft by the Indian Air Force (IAF), which operates the MKI version of the jet.

    Malaysia bought 18 Sukhoi jet fighters from Russia in 2003, with the first two delivered last May and the rest to arrive in stages by June. Russia had assured Malaysia that Indian engineers could provide services for the Malaysian Air Force’s Sukhoi aircraft.

    India is producing Su-30MKIs at Indian facilities under license from Russia. The MKI is similar to the Su-30MKM Malaysia is buying.

    India also is providing Malaysia with spare parts for its MiG aircraft.
    Malaysia also is keen to get Indian help in maintaining the Scorpene submarines the Malaysian Navy will receive from France in early 2009.
    Also discussed on the sidelines of Antony’s visit was the potential export of supersonic BrahMos cruise missiles to the Malaysian Navy, Indian Defence Ministry sources said.

    India is building her defense ties with countries in Southeast Asia as part of its long-term “look East” strategy. India and Malaysia first signed a memorandum of understanding on defense cooperation in 1992. Rings a bell somehow...