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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

India, Russia Sign New Rocket Deal

BANGALORE, India -- India has signed a new agreement to buy rocket engines from Russia's commercial space organization after an earlier deal fell through under U.S. pressure, the head of India's space program said on Wednesday.

The original $350 million deal with Russia's Glavkosmos, to buy two engines plus rocket technology, was suspended last September after the United States threatened sanctions against Russia saying the deal breached arms technology controls.

"We will get seven engines including two engines in lieu of the technology, which the Russians declined to part with," U.R. Rao, outgoing head of the Indian Space Research Organization, told reporters in this south Indian city.

Rao said the new deal was signed recently with Glavkosmos chief Alexander Dunayev, and also included two mock-up model engines.

"The first engine will be delivered in 1996 and the rest spread over a three-year period," he said.

Rao said the engines would be used from 1996 to launch Indian satellites into orbit.

Indian media reported in January that Russia had agreed to provide seven engines in a compensation deal.

Glavkosmos officials were unable to confirm the deal at the time, saying they did not know if the Russian government had given its approval.

The United States said the first deal violated the Missile Technology Control Regime, an accord adopted by Western nations to prevent the spread of such technology.

Washington said the engines could be used to power ballistic missiles. Both India and Russia have insisted they could not be used for anything other than space exploration.

Russia, suffering from an acute shortage of hard currency, wants to cash in on its vast, once-secret technology reserves but is wary of angering Western governments.