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LE BOURGET, June, 15 (RIA Novosti) - Russia is in talks with France on a joint project to develop a heavy-lift helicopter and sell advanced artillery ammunition, the head of Russia's Federal Service for Military Cooperation said on Monday.
Alexander Fomin is leading a Russian delegation at the 48th Paris Air Show at Le Bourget, running from June 15 to 21.
Fomin said the new transport helicopter would be based on Mi-26T Halo, Russia's biggest and most powerful civilian/military helicopter. It can lift up to 20 metric tons of cargo.
He said the Mi-26 performed well during a recent demonstration, and that talks would continue after the European Defense Agency decides how many EU countries would participate in the project, and how many helicopters would be needed.
He said the EDA should make a decision before 2012.
Fomin also said France was interested in buying Russian-made Krasnopol-M Cannon-Launched Guided Projectiles (CLGP).
He said the French Defense Ministry had confirmed the interest of its Ground Forces in buying Russian projectiles, but insisted that they be modified to meet NATO standards.
The Krasnopol-M is a fin-stabilized, semi-automatic laser-guided, explosive projectile intended to engage hard point targets such as tanks, SP howitzers or other high-value targets.
It is compatible with the autoloaders on the Russian 2S19 and NATO-standard self-propelled artillery systems.
The Krasnopol is capable of hitting targets moving at speeds up to 36 kilometers per hour.
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The growing outright rivalry between the United States and China gives Russia more foreign policy weight, enabling it to assume the role of a balancer. So far it has been doing so rather skillfully. Today it may participate in a joint naval exercise with China that Beijing positions as outwardly anti-American. But tomorrow it can team up with the naval forces of the Old World.