When Indian Defence Minister AK Antony visits Russia next month on an official visit, the two countries will formally incorporate a joint venture (upgrade the existing Inter-Governmental Agreement or IGA) for the joint development and production of the Multirole Transport Aircraft (MTA), agreed upon back in early 2006. The documents of incorporation were finalised by senior HAL/MoD officials before and during the recently concluded MAKS-2009 air show at Zhukovsky outside Moscow. Workshare aspects have already been worked out between the two countries.
Very much like the agreement on BrahMos, the agreement will chart out production for the armed forces of India and Russia, in addition to friendly third countries, a list of which has already been drawn up and will be enshrined as an annexure to the main agreement document. According to sources, the agreement also contains the agreed joint intention to spin-off (to be pioneered by HAL's Aircraft Research and Design Centre, Bangalore) and market a civilian variant of the MTA in the form of a 100-seater passenger airplane for which HAL will be the lead partner and principal integrator. The Indian part of serial production of the MTA, when ready, will take place at HAL's Transport Aircraft Division in Kanpur.
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