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Ukroboronprom General Director Yuriv Husyev said Ukraine is keen on procuring some hardware from India and strengthen its presence in the Indian defence market.

Ukroboronprom is the umbrella corporation of Ukrainian state defence companies.

“We presented our proposals with new weapons and aircraft for the Indian armed forces, which includes a pitch to India of its AN-178 medium transport aircraft,” he said.

At present, Ukraine is upgrading the AN-32 transport fleet of the Indian Air Force (IAF) under a deal finalised in 2009. 

Of the over 100 aircraft, 40 were upgraded in Ukraine and the remaining are to be done by the IAF Base Repair Depot in Kanpur, with upgrade kits supplied by Antonov. 

Ukraine has in the past pitched its AN-132 transport aircraft as a replacement for the IAF’s AN-32 fleet. The country also manufactures the R-27 air-to-air missiles which are in use by the IAF on its SU-30MKI fighters.

The two countries will discuss a range of proposals to take forward bilateral cooperation at the Bilateral Working Group meeting between the two defence ministries in April. 

“Yes, we had some discussions about cooperation in Navy and Air Force. I guess we have a lot of work to do… We have some ideas and will discuss these ideas in Ukraine in Ministry of Defence and armed forces of Ukraine,” Husyev said.

Ukraine has signed four agreements worth $70 million, which includes the sale of new weapons, maintenance and upgrades of existing ones in service with the Indian armed forces, he said.

Some members of the Ukrainian delegation will stay back in India for some days after the air show to conduct discussions on the four agreements.

Ukrainian Defence Minister Andriy Taran, who led a delegation at Aero India, held discussions with Defence Minister Rajnath Singh. 

The Ukraine team also looked at possible collaborations in research and development with the officials of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), at Aero India 2021 last week.

India made a strong pitch to the world of its indigenous military capabilities and ability to supply a range of military hardware. 

Rajnath Singh had said India was ready to supply missile systems, Light Combat Aircraft (LCA), helicopters, warships and patrol vessels, artillery gun systems, tanks, radars, military vehicles and electronic warfare systems among others to countries in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR).

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