Russia and India to explore Moon together
In addition to the space programme, Russia and India signed a series of trade agreements. After the meeting Manmohan Singh and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin held a media conference. To watch the conference, please follow the link.
India will take part in Russia's 2011 Moon-Globe Programme to design a spacecraft for Moon exploration. India will supply the rocket and the flight module, while Russia will create a landing module and a rover to explore the Moon's surface.
Manmohan Singh said the high-tech partnership showed 'great promise'.
“Our co-operation is symbolized by the agreement on Chandrayan II, which will include a joint mission to the Moon involving an orbiter, a lander and a rover to carry out scientific studies,” the Indian Prime Minister said.
Manmohan Singh and Vladimir Putin, Moscow
It's hoped the first flight will take in 2011 or 2012.
Russia and India are planning a joint mission to the moon. Political analyst Ruslan Pukhov says Russia is continuing a practice begun by the USSR, of offering emerging powers help with their space programmes as a kind of “present”.
Space analyst Yury Karash says the joint-venture with India “fits nicely” into Russia's own Moon programme.
He says the unmanned project will explore the Moon “using orbital satellites and also by using landers.”
“It even includes bringing back to Earth samples of lunar soil,” Karash said.
High-tech, transport and energy are the three pillars of the new co-operation between Moscow and New Delhi.
For years Russia has supplied the Indian army with military aircraft.
Under the partnership deal, a totally new transport plane will be created. Also in the pipeline is what's called a ‘fifth generation multi-role fighter jet’.
Deputy Commander of Long-Range Aviation, Major-General Anatoly Zhikharev, said the new war plane will be capable of performing both over land and sea.
“It will be capable of hitting all kinds of targets, including radars and other service targets,” Zhikharev said.
“It will carry both conventional and nuclear weapons,” he said.
While Russia is a huge exporter of oil and gas, the energy situation in India is quite the opposite. The South Asian country is one the world's biggest energy importers.
To help India reduce its reliance on imported energy, Russia is building a nuclear power plants in the south of the country.
Yet despite such agreements at government level, trade between the two rapidly growing economies remains modest. It stands at about $US 4 billion annually.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said talks were held on the increase in trade between Russia and India.
“We’re satisfied with the growth rate. It was 27% in 2006 and it grew to 30% in the first 8 months of this year,” Putin said.
Both India and Russia realise there is huge scope for growth in economic ties between the countries.