Russia to supply new fighters to India despite US sanctions on purchase of S-400s | Eurasia Diary -

29 September, Tuesday

Russia to supply new fighters to India despite US sanctions on purchase of S-400s

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Despite the modernization of India’s defense industry, Indo-Russian military cooperation is still strong — and two Talwar-class frigates will be delivered to New Delhi in 2024. But could competition from the US get in the way?

As part of a $2.2 billion deal with Moscow, the pair of warships, currently under construction at the Yantar Shipyard in Kaliningrad, will be delivered in two years — and two additional frigates will be built domestically at India’s Goa Shipyard under a technology transfer agreement.

Relationship built over decades

India’s naval ties with Russia can be traced back to the mid-1960s when, following the 1962 Indo-China war, the government embarked on a plan for defense modernisation after suffering a humiliating defeat.

New Delhi’s efforts to solicit interest from the United States and Britain during the Cold War were largely unsuccessful, however, so India turned to the Soviet Union — sparking the rapid development of Indo-Soviet naval ties. Soviet support during the 1971 war with Pakistan then firmly established Indo-Russian defense ties and paved the way for future cooperation.

In the 50 years since, India has received a Kiev-class combination cruiser and aircraft carrier (the first fixed-wing carrier class built by the USSR), destroyers, stealth frigates, conventional and nuclear submarines, maritime reconnaissance aircraft and naval helicopters from Russia. Indeed, an estimated 70 percent of India’s defense equipment is of Russian or Soviet origin.

This means two generations of India’s servicemen have trained on, operated and maintained Russian equipment — a fact that still influences the enduring preference for Russian-made machines and a mutually beneficial arrangement for the countries.


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