India and Russia have signed an agreement to form a joint venture company to manufacture multirole transport aircraft (MTA).

The MTA is a 15t-20t payload capacity aircraft, which will be used both by the Indian and Russian Air Forces.

The MTA aircraft will have a maximum take-off weight of 65t, cruise speed of 800km/h, range of 2,500km-2,700km and service ceiling of 12km.

The aircraft will be equipped with two engines, fly-by-wire, full authority digital engine control, modern avionics and glass cockpit.

The company, to be formed by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), Russian United Aircraft Corporation and Rosoboronexport, will manufacture 205 MTAs under the agreement.

India and Russia will equally share the total cost of the $600.7m programme.