India and Russia strike deal for air defence system

Modi and Putin’s productive bilateral talks on the side lines of BRICS 2016

Business & Politics

October 17, 2016

/ By / New Delhi

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India and Russia have set out to strengthen their bilateral ties. Prime Minister Narendra Modi signed a deal with President Vladimir Putin for the purchase of a long-range defence missile system-the S-400 Triumf.

On the sidelines of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) summit being held in the western Indian state of Goa, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin announced to the media 16 agreements between the two countries. Part of this was India signing a deal with Russia to buy the S-400 Triumf, long range air defence systems worth over EUR 4.56 billion, and collaborating in making four state-of-art frigates besides setting up a joint production facility for making Kamov helicopters.

India and Russia had been in talks for over a year for the purchase of at least five systems of S-400 that is being looked as a game changer in the region. S-400 ‘Triumf’ long-range air defence missile system has the capability to destroy incoming hostile aircraft, missiles and even drones at ranges of up to 400 km. It is capable of firing three types of missiles, creating a layered defence, and simultaneously engaging 36 targets.

The intergovernmental missile agreement comes as Russia hopes to stave off tough competition from the Americans and the Europeans, and continue to be India’s foremost defence supplier. It is in regard of this that Russia has agreed to sell four Krivak-class stealth frigates and the Kamov 226T helicopters to India.

The Kamov 226T helicopters will be manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) and Rostec State Corporation of Russia under a joint production plan.

“The agreements on manufacturing of Kamov 226T helicopters, construction of frigates and acquisition and building of other defence platforms are in synergy with India’s technology and security priorities. They also help us achieve the objectives of Make in India,” PM Modi said after the exchange of agreements.

President Putin, in his statement, also mentioned this agreement as a step forward for strengthening the bilateral ties between the two countries and supporting the growing Indian economy by ensuring steady energy cooperation.

“Sometimes differences appear in some projects over a period due to currency devaluation. But we commit to maintain a steady approach to bilateral projects with India,” said President Putin and added, “we are working on joint development of Sukhoi super jets and passenger aircraft.”

The two countries plan to work together in future to further strengthen their ties and have signed another important deal for four Admiral Grigorovich-class (Project 11356) guided-missile stealth frigates.  Under this deal, two vessels will come from Russia while the other two will be built in India with Russian collaboration. This is in addition to the six Talwar-class frigates that Russia built for the Indian Navy between 2003 and 2013. This agreement between Modi and Putin is yet another important defence deal between the two nations.

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