India-Russia Defence Deals 2020
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic and the heightened tensions between India and China, India is strengthening its strategic relationship with Russia. Recently, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh visited Russia to deepen India-Russia defence ties. Check the list mentioned below on India-Russia defence deals for the year 2020:
S-400 Anti-missile System
In October 2018, India signed a deal for $5.2 billion with Russia to buy 5 units of the S-400 anti-missile system. The first batch of this system was expected to reach India by the end of 2021, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it can be further delayed to the year 2025. In 2019, India paid the first tranche for the anti-missile system to Russia of around $800 million.
The radar fitted in the S-400 anti-missile system has a range of about 600 km for surveillance and can track 300 targets simultaneously. It fits in all missile system and can be configured to long-range, semi long-range, medium-range and short-range systems depending on the preference.
The S-400 anti-missile system is cheaper as compared to other defence systems. It has 9 launchers, 120 missiles, command and support vehicles. The system will be deployed in the National Capital Region and along the Mumbai-Baroda Industrial Corridor and will track the movement along LoC (Line of Control).
In December 2019, the Government of India was offered three refurbished Kilo-class submarines by Russia. India is currently examining the said proposal. In addition to this, Russia has also proposed to conduct refit work on three existing Kilo-class submarines of the Indian Navy to extend their lives by 10 years. The offer made is $1.82 billion.
These Kilo-class submarines of the will join the existing 9 submarines of the Sindhughosh class in the Indian Navy. As per a report by IISS, Indian Navy currently has 15 submarines against the required 24. The Kilo-class submarines run on batteries underwater and are an important class of underwater vessel in the Indian Navy.
In 1986, the first INS Sindhughosh was commissioned. In 2000, the Indian Navy inducted the youngest Kilo-class submarine. Till now, the Kilo-class fleet has been upgraded several times in terms of SONAR system, electronics and weapons, etc.
T-90S Battle Tanks
India has commenced manufacturing 400 T-90S battle tanks for Indian Army. India signed a contract with Russia to extend the building license until the year 2028. As per a report by IISS, Indian Army currently has 1,025 T-90S tanks which are operational. The tanks will be produced by Heavy Vehicles Factory.
This tank offers an increase in firepower, mobility and protection. The tank was inducted by Russian Army in the year 1992. An agreement was signed between Russia and India, where out of 310 T-90S tanks, 124 will be manufactured in Russia while the rest will be assembled in India.
The T-90S tank can target low-flying helicopters up to 5 km of range, has an infrared jammer, a laser warning system with four laser warning receivers, a grenade discharging system that produces an aerosol screen and a computerised control system. It also has nuclear, biological and chemical (NBC) protection equipment.
India-Russia Defence Deals at DefExpo 2020
During DefExpo 2020, India and Russia signed 14 MoUs (memorandums of understanding). The MoUs consist of development and production of land, air and naval systems and hi-tech civilian products. This set the defence deals between India and Russia to cross $16 billion.
Russia is committed to implementing a contract within the promised time frame. This includes the production of Kalashnikov rifles and Kamov helicopters.
Rosoboronexport, Russia's state-run organization has signed deals with DRDO for advanced pyrotechnic ignition systems, HAL for the export of spares and services to allies, and BHEL for land systems.
Another deal was signed between Russian Helicopters and Indo-Russian Helicopters Ltd to localise the components used in Kamov Ka-226 helicopters. India is planning to purchase 200 Ka-226 helicopters.
Despite the pressure from the US, India signed strong defence deals with Russia. Also, Russia was the largest foreign contributor at DefExpo 2020.
India-Russia air-to-air Missiles Deal
The Government of India has signed Rs 1,500 crore deal with Russia to procure R-27 air-to-air missiles to be equipped on the Su-30MKI combat aircraft. This deal will boost India's capabilities in beyond visual range warfare.
The missile is developed by Russia and is a medium-to-long-range air-to-air missile for MiG and Sukhoi fighter jets.
After the Pulwama attack, emergency powers were granted by the Centre to all the three services to buy types of equipment of their choice up to Rs 300 crore per case within 3 months to safeguard the borders with Pakistan.