What’s behind the military talks between India’s PM Modi and Russia’s President Putin? | Weapons News

Russia and India have a long history of defense cooperation, but what weapons have they exchanged in the past and what will they discuss this time?

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Russia for the first time since the invasion of Ukraine and will discuss issues including defence and arms trade.

Details of the new arms deal between the two countries are yet to emerge, but it is understood that Russia’s demand for weapons and ammunition for the Ukraine war is driving the talks. Modi could offer Russia substantial Indian industrial assistance for the Ukraine war in exchange for energy and military technology. This assistance would be practical, but would stop short of Indian public support for the Russian war effort.

The visits on Monday and Tuesday will serve as a reminder to the world that India-Russia ties, particularly those on defence and arms, go back decades and remain strong.

What is the history of India-Russia defence agreements?

Over the past decade, India has focused on strengthening its military-industrial complex, telling international defense contractors that “Make in India” was a priority and arguing that technology transfers to Indian companies were central to any deal, whether with Russia or other countries.

However, the Indian army still relies heavily on armoured divisions, with 97 percent of its 3,740 tanks being Russian-made.

While India is trying to diversify its defense purchases and partially wean itself off Russian weapons, it is mainly Russian companies that are helping India’s defense industry mature rapidly.

The day before Modi leaves for Moscow this week, Russian state-owned export company Rostec The agreement was signed The advanced armour-piercing ammunition ‘Mango’ for the T-90 tank will be manufactured in India.

What other defence cooperation have India and Russia undertaken so far?

Defence cooperation between the two countries is considerable: for example, the BrahMos supersonic anti-ship missile was jointly designed by Indian and Russian engineers for the Indian military and first tested in 2001.

BrahMos is a combination of the names of the Brahmaputra and Moskva rivers, symbolizing the cooperation between the two countries. The missile is fast and powerful, capable of firing a 300 kg (660 lb) warhead at three times the speed of sound with an accuracy of less than one meter (3.3 ft). It has since been exported to the Philippines.

Russia-India joint ventures include the production of 35,000 Kalashnikov AK-203 assault rifles for the Indian military, licensed production of cutting-edge T-90 tanks and Sukhoi Su-30-MKI fourth-generation fighter jets, and a maintenance facility for India’s MiG-29 fighter jets. The two countries are also collaborating on the production of Konkurs anti-tank guided missiles.

What else will PM Modi and President Putin discuss?

Cheap Russian crude has been a mainstay of India’s economy for more than a year, making it a major recipient of oil shipments that break U.S. and EU sanctions.

Nuclear power is also on the agenda at the Moscow talks: Some of India’s nuclear reactors are Russian-made, and negotiations are underway for India to buy both Russian-made floating and offshore reactors, which would serve remote locations, submarines and larger, longer-range naval vessels.

Where will Russia get the weapons it needs for the war in Ukraine?

Moscow is desperately trying to meet its own military’s constant demand for all kinds of artillery and tank ammunition in preparation for the war in Ukraine.

Conservative estimates suggest that Russian forces are firing 8,000 rounds of ammunition per day. With an average cost of $4,000 per round, that means Russia is spending $32 million every day trying to break the stalemate on the Ukrainian battlefield.

Though the Russian economy is technically on a war footing, Putin still needed to convince North Korea and Vietnam, both of which have Russian-made artillery and large domestic arms factories, especially for the much-needed 152mm shells.

With continued U.S. support for Ukraine in doubt and military factories in Europe and Turkey filling the gap, Ukraine and Russia are increasingly relying on other countries to provide the huge amounts of munitions they need to keep the other in check.

Both countries are seeking new partners in the hope of out-maneuvering the other and bringing the heavy firepower they believe is needed to turn the tide of the stagnant conflict. Russia, along with North Korea and Vietnam, is hoping Indian industry can help provide Russia with the weapons it needs to defeat Ukraine.


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