India is one of the biggest arms importers in the world. It is understandable since India’s military expansion goes hand in hand with its economic growth. Also playing a role is the neighbourhood. With two nuclear neighbours, one of which can’t be trusted with a water pistol, India has to be prepared for the worst.
With the bulk of equipment of the Indian armed forces of Soviet origin, it doesn’t come as a surprise that Russia is still India’s favoured country when it comes to buying weapons. When Russian President Vladimir Putin comes to India for the BRICS summit, India and Russian will hold bilateral talks on the sidelines. In discussion, among other things will be the following weapons systems that India is keen to buy.
The long range air defence missile system is one of the most feared weapons system in the west. With a range of 400 km, a missile fired from the India will take out an F-16 while it’s still in the airspace above PAF Base Mushaf in Sargodha! The road mobile missile system can pretty much be parked anywhere India wants and shoot down enemy planes at will.
India wants to buy 5 systems with thousands of missiles to use as a defensive measure. The deal is reportedly going to cost India Rs 40,000 crore.
Akula class nuclear submarine
India already operates a leased Akula II class of hunter killer nuclear sub (SSN), christened the INS Chakra. It is one of the quietest of all nuclear subs. In fact they’re so silent, the US was left red faced when it came to light that a Russian Akula had slipped into their backyard, the Gulf of Mexico, without the US Navy even realising it. Designed to hunt the American SSBNs, the Akula is a weapons platform unlike no other. Now India wants to lease another one to augment the fleet.
FGFA (Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft)
After months of negotiations, both India and Russia have agreed to a work-share agreement for the under-development FGFA. A fifth generation fighter with stealth tech, it is the most advanced fighter plane in the world. Both countries have committed $4 billion towards the R&D for the project. India is expected to buy about 144 of these planes. More importantly, Indian engineers will get the know how to build a stealth plane which will be used in India’s home grown AMCA (Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft).
Ka 226T Light helicopters
While India and Russia have agreed to a deal for the manufacture of the light helicopters, the agreement for the joint production is likely to be signed soon. 200 of these are required with the initial batch of 40 coming from Russia and 160 being manufactured locally with transfer of technology.