ISLAMABAD - Pakistan is in direct talks with Russia for the procurement of sophisticated military hardware, including air defence systems, fighter jets and battle tanks, a media report said on Saturday.
Defence Minister Khurram Dastgir Khan confirmed that Islamabad was interested in buying weapons from Moscow in an interview to the Russian news agency Sputnik.
"Air defence system is a different kind of weapon we are interested. We are very much interested in a very wide range of the Russian weapons technology. We are in negotiations [on air defence systems] and once we conclude negotiations, we will be able to announce them," Khan said.
The defence minister also outlined that Islamabad was interested in acquiring T-90 tanks from Moscow as part of a long-term deal rather than committing itself to a single purchase. Interestingly, India also uses the T-90 tanks. As part of efforts to enhance its strike capability, the Army is now working on a project to add more teeth to its T-90 main battle tanks by arming them with a third generation missile system. "We are interested in tanks T-90 and it is not going to be a one-time purchase but it is going to be a long-term commitment," Khan was quoted as saying by the agency.
He added that negotiations for the purchase of Russian Su-35 fighter jets are in their early stages, and an agreement in this regard may be reached "in the next few years", according to the Russian website. The defence minister noted that both Pakistan and Russia were interested in a stable and democratic Afghanistan