• search
For Quick Alerts
ALLOW NOTIFICATIONS  
For Daily Alerts

US or Russia: For India its about finding the middle path

|

New Delhi, Oct 16: It may appear that India is increasingly leaning towards the West for defence technology in recent years, but the fact remains that military ties between New Delhi and Moscow are decades old and Russia will continue to play a big role in arms supply to India.

A majority of India's defense assets, ranging from air defense systems to tanks and fighter jets, are sourced from Russia. Russia continues to supply over 70% of military equipment to India and most importantly it shares critical technologies with India.

The recent deal to purchase S-400 triumf air defense system from Russia did not go down well with the US. In fact, India signed on the missile deal with sword of US sanctions hanging over it. India made it very clear that sanctions or no-sanctions, India-Russia defence ties would not be effected.

Also Read | Sanctions over S-400 deal: Why India seems unperturbed?

The US does not want any country to engage with Russia on defence matters. For this, the US has come up with a legislation called Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act or CAATSA which proposes sanctions on countries indulging with Russia in significant defence deals. US says that CAATSA is aimed at punishing Russia for its aggression in Ukraine and involvement in Syria's civil war.

Trump or Putin?

Trump or Putin?

The situation for India is such that it cannot choose one over the other which means the New Delhi needs both the US and Russia for its defence requirements. India wants to maintain its storng military ties with Russia, but at the same time does not want to sour relations with the US.

Also Read | Patriot missile losing market to S-400: Is that the real worry of US?

For that matter, even the US may not take a strong stance and punish India for being close to Russia. By doing so, the US may harm defense relationship with India which is considered as one of the world's most lucrative markets for arms exporters. According to a 2017 report by the UK's Royal Institute of International Affairs, India was responsible for 10.3% of global arms imports between 2000 and 2016, with Russia supplying 72% of those imports. So, it is all pure business in a way. Everyone wants a share of India's big defence spending.

S-400 Triumf Air Defence system

S-400 Triumf Air Defence system

S-400 deal is something which made headlines, apart from this there are many other India-Russia deals in the pipeline like New Delhi's plan to buy of four Krivak III-class frigates, a US$1.5 billion deal to build 200 Kamov-226T light helicopters in India and a billion-dollar contract to manufacture Kalashnikov assault rifles in India.

BrahMos is a result of India-Russia collaboration

BrahMos is a result of India-Russia collaboration

India just cannot do away with its dependence on Russia for help in defence supplies. Two of the most important projects - BrahMos and Sukhoi- have Russian involvement. Moreover, there are still a lot MiG fighters in IAF's fleet which need service support from Russia. Russia has in the past stood by India as a strong ally, since Nehru's times.

IAF's Sukhoi fighter jet

IAF's Sukhoi fighter jet

As far the US is concerned, India Air Force is facing with the problem of depleting squadron strength. Reports suggest that India might consider a number of F-18 or F-16 fighter jets to address this problem. Recently, India had purchased Apache helicopters from the US. During PM Modi's last visit to the US, it was being speculated that India may buy Predator drones from US.

Also Read | US strike in Syria: Reason behind India's carefully worded response

So, all in all, India needs both the US and Russia and cannot afford to irk either of them.

For Daily Alerts
Get Instant News Updates
Enable
x
Notification Settings X
Time Settings
Done
Clear Notification X
Do you want to clear all the notifications from your inbox?
Settings X
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. This includes cookies from third party social media websites and ad networks. Such third party cookies may track your use on Oneindia sites for better rendering. Our partners use cookies to ensure we show you advertising that is relevant to you. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on Oneindia website. However, you can change your cookie settings at any time. Learn more