India Agrees to Multibillion-Dollar Russian Jet Deal Amid Standoff with China
(Source: Radio Free Europe/ Radio Liberty; issued July 02, 2020)
Despite serious serviceability issues with its MiG-29s (photo) and Su-30s, India has decided to buy 33 more for $2.4 billion, while spending another $1.8 bn on other weapons, including a new, 1,000-km range air-launched cruise missile. (Indian MoD photo)
India has green-lighted the purchase of 33 Russian fighter jets and upgrades to 59 others worth $2.4 billion at a time of rising border tensions with China.
The Defense Ministry on July 2 announced the purchase from Russia of 21 MiG-29s as well as upgrades to 59 existing MiG-29 aircraft.
The government also approved the procurement of 12 Russian Su-30 MKI aircraft to be built under license by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited.
The purchase, along with indigenously produced missile systems in line with the government’s "Make in India" initiative, were made "to strengthen the armed forces for the defense of our borders," the Defense Ministry said in a statement.
The announcement followed a telephone conversation between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Among other things, Modi congratulated Putin for the "successful completion" of a national vote on constitutional amendments that could allow the Russian leader to rule until 2036.
The two leaders also discussed plans for a bilateral summit later this year in India.
New Delhi and Moscow were partners during the Cold War and much of India's military hardware is of Russian origin.
In 2019, India was the third-largest military spender in the world at $71.1 billion, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).
Modi has sought to boost the domestic defense industry by focusing on indigenous design, production, and development, as well as technology transfer agreements with other countries.
Most of India's arms imports still come from Russia. The United States and Israel are also major providers of high-tech military hardware.
India’s military buildup comes as its relationship with China has worsened in recent weeks following a clash on June 15 along a disputed stretch of border in the Himalayas in which India lost 20 soldiers.
DAC Approves Capital Acquisitions of Various Platforms & Equipment Worth Rs 38,900 Crore
(Source: Indian Ministry of Defence; issued July 02, 2020)
In the current situation and the need to strengthen the Armed Forces for the defence of our borders, and in line with Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s clarion call for ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat,’ Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) in its meeting of today held under the chairmanship of Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh accorded approval for capital acquisition of various platforms and equipment required by the Indian Armed Forces.
Proposals for an approximate cost of Rs 38,900 crore ($5.2 billion at today’s exchange rate—Ed.) were approved.
Focused on indigenous design and development these approvals include acquisitions from Indian industry of Rs 31,130 crore.
The equipment [is] going to be manufactured in India involving Indian defence industry with participation of several MSMEs as prime tier vendors. The indigenous content in some of these projects is up to 80 per cent of the project cost.
A large number of these projects have been made possible due to Transfer of Technology (ToT) by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) to the indigenous industry.
These include Pinaka ammunitions, BMP armament upgrades and software defined radios for the Indian Army, Long Range Land Attack Cruise Missile Systems and Astra Missiles for the Indian Navy and Indian Air Force (IAF).
The cost of these design and development proposals is in the range of Rs 20,400 crore.
Acquisition of new/additional missile systems will add to the fire power of three Services.
While acquisition of Pinaka missile systems will enable raising additional regiments over and above the ones already inducted, addition of Long-Range Land Attack Missile Systems having a firing range of 1,000 kilometres to the existing arsenal will bolster the attack capabilities of the Navy and the Air Force.