New Delhi: The ministerial dialogue between India and Russia slated for Thursday will now take place on October 10 during which India is expected to voice concerns over the delay in handing over of aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov.

The India-Russia Inter-Governmental Commission on Military-Technical Cooperation (IRIGC-MTC) between Defence Minister A K Antony and his Russian counterpart Anatoly Serdyukov is being held to take stock of the defence relations.

"The meeting of the India-Russia Inter-governmental Commission on Military Technical Cooperation which was to be held tomorrow has been deferred due to the inability of the Russian Co-Chair of the Commission and Defence Minister Serdyukov to travel to India as scheduled," a Defence Ministry release said.

The meeting will now be held on October 10 here, it said.

The Russian side has conveyed to India that its Defence Minister was required to stay back home for his "urgent participation" in a programme of the President, the statement said.

Ministry officials said the Russian Defence Minister was asked to stay back for an important amphibious exercise being conducted there.

At the meeting, India is expected to raise the issue of delay in delivery of aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov.

Ministry officials said there is a clause in the contract under which India can impose penalties for slippages in delivery schedules but no final decision has yet been taken on that aspect.

The delivery schedule of the 45,000-tonne warship has slipped further after it encountered engine malfunctions during sea trials in Russia.

The ship, rechristened INS Vikramaditya, was scheduled for commissioning into Indian Navy by December 4, but Russian media reports have suggested that it would now be delivered only in October 2013.

The deal for the Russian aircraft carrier was signed in 2004. But the price of the ship was renegotiated and later put at USD 2.3 billion after repeated cost revision demands by the Russian side for repair and overhaul.

The officials said the two sides will also hold discussions on the delays in other projects such as the three Talwar Class-follow on projects.

Other issues which are expected to come up for discussion are the problems in the supply of spares for the Russian equipment in Indian inventory and their maintenance.

During the talks, the two sides are also expected to discuss the issues of lack of spare supplies and delays in other projects.

The two sides are expected to deliberate on procurement of the 42 more Su-30MKI fighters, 197 light utility helicopters and upgrades of the T-90 tanks during the talks between the two sides.

Russian firm Kamov with its Ka-226 Sergei is one of the two contenders for supplying 197 LUH for replacing the vintage Cheetah/Chetak fleet of helicopters for the army and the IAF.

After the IR-IGMTC, Russian President Vladimir Putin will arrive in India on November 1 where he will hold summit-level meetings with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

India is a big customer of Russian military hardware and more than 50 per cent of its weapon systems are of Russian-origin.


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