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Experts Trash Reports of Russian Defence Hardware’s Era Ending in India

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Experts Trash Reports of Russian Defence Hardware’s Era Ending in India


Some media reports recently suggested that the era of Moscow-supplied weapons to India had ended

Two international relations pundits have rubbished the recent reports in the Indian media which stated that Russia’s position as a major supplier of military equipment to India had ended.

The above-mentioned claims came in the backdrop of the Indian Navy retiring its last batch of Ilyushin IL-38 maritime patrol aircraft and the Indian Air Force (IAF) phasing out one of the squadrons of its MiG-21 Bison warplanes earlier this month.

Against this backdrop, Dr. Dattesh Parulekar, who is an Assistant Professor at the Goa University’s School of International and Area Studies, stated that these reports speculating the progressive demise of Russian defence hardware transfers were hyperbole.

No Deliberate Policy to Supplant Russian Armaments Or Military Platforms

“Notwithstanding the instances noted, these decommissioning are still instances of case-to-case basis situations, and do not portend a spectre of any deliberate policy of supplanting Russian armaments and systems, per se,” Dr. Parulekar told Sputnik India on Thursday.

He pointed out that while there was no gainsaying that New Delhi was gradually diversifying its defence hardware sourcing, such widely arrayed forays at broad-based military procurement, were not aimed at eroding the salience of Russian arms and defence platforms sales.

Rather, he noted, these initiatives were aimed at engendering processes for robust and resilient defence production indigenization towards potential self-reliance in security preparedness.

According to Parulekar, it must be admitted that Russia-India defence equations were now marked by a newfound pragmatic evaluation at either end, impacted by the collaterals emanating from the Ukraine conflict.

New Delhi Cannot Forsake Moscow As A Defence Partner

“However, New Delhi could hardly forsake Russia, as a defence partner, given the inveterate traditions in acquisitions, the marked Russian orientations of its defence ecosystems, and the canny imperative to leverage Russian equities, in extracting the best terms from Western interlocutors, be it the US or sovereign European players, for that matter on tech transfers and assembly-lines,” the academic underlined.

Moreover, he opined that India’s strategic objective of risk mitigation through diversification, is optimally accomplished, by maintaining the angularities in multiple defence relationships.

On the other hand, IAF veteran Vijainder K Thakur stressed that defence procurement is closely tied to foreign policy which in turn is guided by the best interests of the citizens of a country.

No Hint of the So-Called ‘End of An Era’

In his opinion, it is not determined by the narrative of a certain section of the press and hence, he believes that there is no change in India’s foreign policy that would even hint at the so-called “end of the era.”

Thakur highlighted that the MiG-21 was retired from Russian Air Force (RuAF) service several decades back.

He explained that the Indian Navy was retiring the IL-38 because it procured P-8I from the US.

Civilian Nuclear Power A Factor In Burgeoning India-US Military Ties

“The fact is that India procured non-lethal defence equipment like the P-8I, Apache AH-64, C-17, C-130 under pressure from the US, as quid-pro-quo for the US ending India’s isolation in the use of civil nuclear power,” Thakur said in a conversation with Sputnik India.

In July 2005, former Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and then U.S. President George W. Bush announced that the US in principle would end India’s nuclear isolation and support civil nuclear cooperation with the country.

The former IAF pilot observed that the retirement of MiG-21 and IL-38 represents the routine retirement of obsolete military hardware. It needs a very convoluted mind to project it as the end of the era of the India-Russia weapons trade.

India-Russia Defense Cooperation Remains Solid

India has just signed a contract with Russia to locally produce Igla-S MANPADS/SHORADS, import kits from Russia for the local manufacture of 12 more Su-30MKI, Thakur mentioned.

“Why didn’t India buy an additional squadron of Rafale fighters from France instead of importing more defence equipment from Russia?” he asked.

The IAF is retiring its fleet of Avro-748 transport aircraft and in a few years will retire its Jaguar fleet. Would that represent the end of the era of India-UK defence collaboration?”, Thakur quipped.

The defense analyst also drew attention to the fact that India’s trade with Russia was expanding at a breathtaking pace. Besides, India was importing a lot of Russian oil and plans were afoot to export Indian-made ships and manufactured goods to Russia.

New Delhi’s Import of Russian Weapons To Be Dictated by Indian Needs

“India’s import of weapons from Russia would be dictated by Indian needs and foreign policy dictates. Russian weapon systems represent a cost-effective counter to the threats faced by India. They come without attached strings. Western weapons are expensive and sometimes more effective, but they invariably come with strings attached,” Thakur asserted.

He commented that if India wanted to dominate the region as a US vassal, it would need to procure expensive Western weapons. But if India wanted to simply deter aggression and grow economically, Russian weapons would serve its needs better.

The government of the day is the best judge of what works for India. Postures change with time and circumstances, as they should and are not dictated by sections of the media, Thakur summed up.





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INS Arihant’s Nuke-Capable K-4 Submarine-Launched Ballistic Missile ‘Ready To Roll’

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INS Arihant’s Nuke-Capable K-4 Submarine-Launched Ballistic Missile ‘Ready To Roll’


NEW DELHI: India tested its nuclear capable K-4 submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM), designed to have a strike range of 3,500 km, for the second time in six days on Friday. The missile test, as the one conducted on January 19, was undertaken from an undersea platform in the shape of a submersible pontoon off the coast of Andhra Pradesh according to a report by Rajat Pandit of TOI.

The solid-fuelled K-4 missile is being developed by DRDO to arm the country’s nuclear-powered submarines in the shape of INS Arihant and its under-development sister vessels. INS Arihant, which became fully operational in November 2018 to complete India’s nuclear triad, is currently armed with the much shorter K-15 missiles with a 750 km range.

“The K-4 is now virtually ready for its serial production to kick-off. The two tests have demonstrated its capability to emerge straight from underwater and undertake its parabolic trajectory,” said a source.

India has the land-based Agni missiles, with the over 5,000-km Agni-V inter-continental ballistic missile now in the process of being inducted, and fighter jets jury-rigged to deliver nuclear weapons. But INS Arihant gives the country’s deterrence posture much more credibility because nuclear-powered submarines armed with nuclear-tipped missiles are considered the most secure, survivable and potent platforms for retaliatory strikes.

Once the K-4 missiles are inducted, they will help India narrow the gap with countries like the US, Russia and China, which have over 5,000-km range SLBMs. The K-4 missiles are to be followed by the K-5 and K-6 missiles in the 5,000-6,000 km range class.

The 6,000-ton INS Arihant, which is propelled by an 83 MW pressurised light-water reactor at its core, in turn, is to be followed by INS Arighat, which was launched in 2017. The next generation of nuclear submarines, currently called S-4 and S-4*, will be much larger in size.





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After Upgradation, Sukhoi Su-30MKI Indigenisation To Reach 78%

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After Upgradation, Sukhoi Su-30MKI Indigenisation To Reach 78%


India has received clearance to upgrade 84 Sukhoi Su-30MKI fighter jets, which will result in 78% indigenization after the upgrade

In a significant step towards bolstering its military might with indigenously developed technology, India is poised to witness its Russian-origin Sukhoi Su-30MKI fighter jets evolve into a domestic platform. Speaking at a recent lecture.

The upgrade program is being led by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) in partnership with the Indian Air Force and other partners. The upgrade is expected to cost US$7.5 billion.

The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) granted Acceptance of Necessity (AoN) for the upgrade. The upgrade is part of India’s efforts to improve the capabilities of its primary fighter aircraft, it refers to as the “Super Sukhoi”.

This initiative is a part of a larger effort by the Indian Air Force to modernize its ageing fleet. Air Chief Marshal Chaudhari asserted the critical role of an offensive air force as demonstrated in current global conflicts and emphasized India’s move towards an indigenized arsenal. To this end, the IAF has been proactive, from upgrading its Mirage 2000 to enhancing its MiG-29 fleet.

In summary, the IAF’s commitment to updating their combat forces with the latest technology, including shifting to fifth-generation fighter jets, ensures operational preparedness and a strong deterrence capability. The gradual indigenization of its air fleet marks a pivotal shift in India’s defence landscape, reducing dependency on foreign imports and fostering technological sovereignty.





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Akash Weapon System Exports For The Armenian Armed Forces Gathers Pace

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Akash Weapon System Exports For The Armenian Armed Forces Gathers Pace


According to unconfirmed reports, Armenia is a top contender for an export order for Akash SAM system manufactured by Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL).

While there is no official confirmation because of the sensitivities involved, documents suggest that the order for the same has already been placed the report further added.
There are nine countries, in turn, which have shown interest in the indigenously-developed Akash missile systems, which can intercept hostile aircraft, helicopters, drones and subsonic cruise missiles at a range of 25-km. They are Kenya, Philippines, Indonesia, UAE, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Vietnam and Algeria reported TOI.

The Akash export version will also be slightly different from the one inducted by the armed forces. The 100-km range air-to-air Astra missiles, now entering production after successful trials from Sukhoi-30MKI fighters, also have “good export potential”, said sources.

Akash is a “tried, tested and successfully inducted systems”. Indian armed forces have ordered Akash systems worth Rs 24,000 crore over the years, and MoD inked a contract in Mar 2023 of over Rs 9,100 crores for improved Akash Weapon System

BDL is a government enterprise under the Ministry of Defence that was established in 1970. BDL manufactures surface-to-air missiles and delivers them to the Indian Army. BDL also offers its products for export.

Akash Weapon System

The AWS is a Short Range Surface to Air Missile (SRSAM) Air Defence System, indigenously designed and developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). In order to meet aerial threats, two additional Regiments of AWS with Upgradation are being procured for Indian Army for the Northern borders. Improved AWS has Seeker Technology, Reduced Foot Print, 360° Engagement Capability and improved environmental parameters.

The project will give a boost to the Indian missile manufacturing industry in particular and the indigenous defence manufacturing ecosystem as a whole. The project has overall indigenous content of 82% which will be increased to 93% by 2026-27.

The induction of the improved AWS into the Indian Army will increase India’s self-reliance in Short Range Missile capability. This project will play a role in boosting the overall economy by avoiding outgo of precious foreign exchange to other countries, increasing employment avenues in India and encouraging Indian MSMEs through components manufacturing. Around 60% of the project cost will be awarded to the private industry, including MSMEs, in maintaining the supply chain of the weapon system, thereby creating large scale of direct and indirect employment.





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