Ahead of Defence Minister Anatoly Serdyukov''s New Delhi visit, a top defence expert has said Russia should help India in developing its "wholesome" nuclear triad to further advance bilateral defence cooperation.
"In my view, Russia must help India in the development of its wholesome nuclear triad, so that it has naval, air and land platforms for its nuclear delivery systems," Ruslan Pukhov, Director of the Moscow-based Centre for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies (CAST) said.
Pukhov is also a member of Public Advisory Board of the Russian Ministry of Defence and will accompany Serdyukov on his New Delhi visit beginning tomorrow during which the India-Russia intergovernmental commission on military- technical cooperation co-chaired by Defence A K Antony is to hold its annual session.
"Why shouldn''t we jointly work for the development of an Indian SSBN (nuclear submarine for launching ballistic missiles)?" Pukhov told PTI.
He suggested that India and Russia could jointly develop a "de facto" common naval system of nuclear deterrence similar to one the US and Britain have.
"In case China develops its fleet of aircraft carriers, Russia could offer Project 949 (Nato codename Oscar-II) nuclear submarines, naval Tu-22M3 bombers and even, although could sound incredible, the nuclear propelled missile cruisers of Project 1144 (Orlan class)," Pukhov said.
Reacting to India''s apprehensions about China''s growing military clout, Pukhov termed as false reports that Moscow was giving superior weapons and technologies to Beijing.
"The type of harmony and complementarity of the military-political interests Russia has with India, will simply never be in our relations with China. This would contradict the elementary norms of geopolitics," he said.
"You will never hear Russian officials expressing concern at the growing Chinese military might, but all of them are well aware of its implications and very well understand that PRC poses a potential threat to Russia''s Far East and Eastern Siberia," he said.
The massive wargames Vostok-2010 (Orient 2010) involving thousand of servicemen and warships in the Far East and Eastern Siberia, during which the Russian troops also practiced the use of tactical nuclear weapons are the reflection of this concern, he said.
"The Indian Air Force''s Sukhoi Su-30MKI is a generation ahead of Su-30MKK/MK2 fighters given to China. Same can be said about Talwar class stealth frigates built for India and ''Sovremenny'' class destroyer sold to China.
"While India and Russia are jointly developing hypersonic BrahMos cruise missiles, fifth generation fighter (FGFA) and futuristic multirole transport aircraft (MTA), no such project is underway with China," Pukhov noted.