India-Russia defence deals set to cross $16 bn; to include S-400 systems, Kalashnikov rifles
Defence deals between India and Russia are set to cross $16 billion and Moscow is committed to the timely implementation of contracts, including the supply of S-400 air defence systems and production of Kalashnikov rifles and Kamov helicopters.
The two countries signed 14 memorandums of understanding (MoUs) during the recent Defexpo 2020 in Lucknow that covered development and production of land, air and naval systems and hi-tech civilian products.
Russia’s state-run Rosoboronexport inked deals with the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) for advanced pyrotechnic ignition systems, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) for export of spares and services to friendly countries, and Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) for land systems, said a statement from the Russian embassy.
A separate MoU was signed by Russian Helicopters and Indo-Russian Helicopters Ltd for localisation of component to be used in Kamov Ka-226 helicopters. India has plans to buy 200 Ka-226 helicopters.
“We are about to cross $16 bn amount of deals. Both sides are committed to their timely and successful implementation, including supply of the S-400...air defence systems by 2025, an early production of Kalashnikov AK-203 machine guns and Ka-226T multi-purpose helicopters under relevant joint ventures with maximum possible level of localisation,” the statement said.
As reported by HT, India made the first payment of $850 million last year for the $5.4-billion deal for five S-400 systems through a special mechanism worked out by the two sides.
The S-400 deal and other purchases of Russian military hardware face the possibility of US sanctions under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA). Despite pressure from the US, India has said it will go ahead with military deals with Russia.
Russia was the largest foreign exhibitor at Defexpo 2020, held during February 5-9, and Moscow remains committed to the Make in India programme and Indian localisation requirements, the statement said.