AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE,

MOSCOW: India has purchased 24 “Tunguska” anti-aircraft systems from Russia, the Vedomosti business daily reported Wednesday.

The purchase of the Tunguska M-1 systems followed years of negotiations and was worth about 400 million dollars (336 million euros), the newspaper said, citing a source in the state arms export agency Rosoboronexport.

The Tunguska, built by state-owned Almaz-Antei company, is a tracked, armoured vehicle carrying two automatic cannons, missiles and radar detection and targeting instruments. The anti-aircraft missiles have a range of nine kilometres (5.6 miles).

According to Vedomosti, Almaz-Antei has secured two billion dollarsbillion euros) worth of contracts for 2006-2008.

Russia is one of India's main weapon suppliers. Earlier this month, Russia was reported to be selling India 16 MiG-29K fighter jets, with modifications to allow use on an aircraft carrier recently purchased from Russia.

India and Russia have also increasingly been developing joint defence projects, with some production already carried out in India under licence, including the building of Su-30 MKI fighter jets and T-90 tanks.

The two countries are jointly building BrahMos anti-ship missiles, while their militaries held joint exercises in the Indian state of Rajasthan in October.