India signs S-400 missile deal with Russia
05 October 2018
Indian and Russia today signed the much-awaited S-400 Triumf air defence missile system deal, overcoming the US threat to impose sanctions under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA).
Under the deal signed in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and visiting Russian President Vladimir Putin during the 19th annual India-Russia Bilateral Summit, India will acquire five such systems from Russia, for a total cost of Rs39,000 crore.
The S-400 missile system can track some 300 targets and shoot down around three dozen targets simultaneously over a range of 400 km.
The two countries are also looking at inking deal for four warships, additional Mi-17V-5 helicopters and also the joint venture between Kamov and HAL to make 200 Ka-226T helicopters. The licensed production of AK 103 assault rifles could also come up with the Ordnance Factories Board (OFB) being the partner in India.
India and Russia are also reported to have signed an agreement on space cooperation under which an Indian monitoring station will be built near the Russian city of Novosibirsk in Siberia.
President Putin arrived in New Delhi on Thursday and was received at the airport by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj. Later, PM Modi welcomed Putin with his trademark ‘bear hug’ at his official residence - 7, Lok Kalyan Marg. This is the third meeting between Modi and Putin this year after the informal meeting in the Russian resort city of Sochi in May and a bilateral on the sidelines of the BRICS Summit in South Africa.
India and Russia are also reported to be discussing a military logistics support agreement on the lines of the India-US Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA), bringing the two partners on a par, say reports citing Russian delegation sources.
Russia had, in August, proposed such an agreement, which is likely to come up for discussion at the high-level summit tomorrow when Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin join their delegations.
Similar to India’s military logistics agreement with the US, the one with Russia will facilitate the use of each other’s military facilities like ports to seek repairs, fuel, logistics etc.
With India and Russia operating so many common-origin platforms like warships, submarines, fighter jets and tanks, it makes more sense and it will help in servicing of equipment at various locations in Russia. And also in the reverse it will help Russians seek such facilities at Indian repair depots.
Besides, the defence ministry is busy giving touches to various projects that are pending with Russia. This could define India’s reliance, or some say, military balance between US and Russia. Moscow is the single largest supplier of weapons and military equipment to India.
The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), had on March 12 released its annual report “Trends in international arms transfers”. Making an assessment for a five-year block (2013-2017) it said, Russia accounted for 62 per cent of India’s arms imports.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin held a restricted meeting ahead of delegation-level talks of the annual bilateral summit.
Modi received Putin at the Hyderabad House in New Delhi and the two leaders warmly shook hands and hugged each other obliging cameramen.
Putin arrived here on Thursday evening for the 19th India-Russia Bilateral Summit and held a private meeting with Modi at the latter's residence at 7, Lok Kalyan Marg.
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj received Putin at the airport here.
Around 20 agreements are expected to be signed between the two sides following the summit on Friday.
The two countries are also expected to discuss Washington's fresh sanctions on Iran over the country's nuclear programme.
New Delhi is worried over the new sanctions, set to come into effect on 4 November, as Iran is a major supplier of oil to India.
The sanctions have also put into jeopardy the Chabahar Port in Iran being jointly developed by India, Iran and Afghanistan.
Chabahar is a crucial link in the International North South Transport Corridor of which Russia is a key party.
Russia is one of only two countries with which India holds annual bilateral summits, the other being Japan.
The India-Russia bilateral relationship was elevated to Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership in 2010.
This is the third meeting between Modi and Putin this year after an informal meeting in the Russian resort city of Sochi in May and a bilateral on the sidelines of the BRICS Summit in South Africa in July.