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Current Affairs

India’s dependence on Russian weapons

Date: 03 March 2022 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

The imposition of sanction on Russia by western powers will surely impact India’s defence ties with Russia.

 

Background

The Russian act of aggression by attacking Ukraine has resulted in global outcry. Sanctions have already been imposed by US and others.

 

Details

  • In the present circumstances, India is highly dependent on Russian defence equipments especially the S-400 air-defence system.

  • India had signed a $5 billion deal with Russia in October 2018 for buying the surface-to-air missile defence system, despite warnings of sanctions.

 

Sanctions on Russian defence industry

  • The sanctions will affect the industry in a critical way. Technologies and critical components cannot be freely imported.

  • The first effect will be inability of Russia to fulfill existing obligations such as S-400 missile system and stealth frigates.

  • The second will be payment transactions in dollars due to blocking of two of the biggest banks of Russia.

 

Defence deal with Russia

  • Between 2016 and 2020, 23% of Russian defence exports went to India. Major battle tanks of India are Russian made.

  • India’s sole operational Aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya is a refurbished Russian vessel. Major fighter aircrafts are Russian made or of Russian technology.

  • India also inked an agreement for AK-203 rifles with production starting soon domestically. Ammunition procurement talks are also going on.

 

Impact on Indian security

India faces constant security threats from China and Pakistan. Russian defence equipments are critical for military's operational readiness.

 

Dependency on Russian equipments

  • Russian defence equipments are central to Indian interests due to the fact that Russia has been India’s strategic partner since 1970s.

  • In addition, Russian technology is contemporary, reliable, need low cost for operation and also follows faster acquisition process.

Way forward for India

The best way for India on the long run would be self-sufficiency. The Atmanirbhar Bharat programme would be a step forward in this direction.