The deal for procurement of S-400 Triumf Air Defence Missile System signed during President’s Putin’s visit to India earlier this month comes as no surprise. It had been in the coagulated pipeline of India-Russia defence trade for a long time along with a host of other procurement proposals.
What apparently lent urgency to the S-400 deal, apart from the need to showcase the continued solidarity between the two countries during President Putin’s visit, is the fact that China has already signed the deal for acquiring the same system from Russia. This air defence system, considered best in the world at present, can put India at a great military disadvantage vis-à-vis China if it were not be acquired by us.
Several other acquisition proposals that are under consideration potentially involve Russia either as the sole supplier or as a serious competitor along with other manufacturers. These include four Project 1135.6 class stealth frigates, two of which are to be built in India, conventional submarines under the P-75I project of the Indian Navy, production of 140 Kamov 226T helicopters in India (in addition to 40 to be bought in a fly-away condition), manufacture of an unspecified number of Kalashnikovs in India. Read more