Tuesday, April 20, 2021

India, Russia Could Sign Whopping $15 Billion Inter-Governmental Defence Agreements

India and Russia are set to ramp up their military cooperation by executing contracts worth almost $ 15 billion, and also ink an Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) under which the two sides are expected to go in for joint development and production of military platforms and spare parts.

However, the cooperation was briefly stuck over pricing and production issues for Kalashnikov AK-203 7.62 mm Assault Rifles 200 series.

According to FE sources, India and Russia are set to sign a joint venture agreement to manufacture Kalashnikov AK-203 7.62 mm Assault Rifles 200 series to fulfil Indian security forces’ requirement for small arms.

“Later this week, there is an IGA between the two countries related to the manufacturing of the world-famous Kalashnikov assault rifles of the newest 200 series. There were issues related to the pricing of these rifles and the full local production.

Those issues have been resolved and most likely there is a certain number of assault rifles which will come from Russia. And the balance will be produced here.” “There is an IGA in place already, but there were some issues, that have now been sorted out,” said the source quoted above. 

Last year after the annual summit, both the countries had decided to extend the agreement for mutual military and technical cooperation by almost 10 years and will now end in 2030. Under the agreement, the two countries will ensure that there is no delay in the production of spare parts and the production will take place in India with the help of Russia.

“The foreign secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla and the Deputy Russian foreign minister had a talk recently. The talks were related to the recent exchanges between the top leaders of the two countries,” stated Anurag Srivastava, the official spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).

As reported earlier by EurAsian Times, in a recent press release by the Ministry of Defense, the Defence Acquisition Council gave approvals which are “likely to speed up” the procurement of AK-203 rifles and upgrades for UAVs- expectedly the arming of Israeli Heron TP drones operated by the Air Force and the Army.

Besides the India-Russia Annual Summit later this year, there will be other two major meetings including the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) and the BRICS. The defence ministers are expected to meet soon as well. No date has been decided yet.

India and Russia have already inked contracts for the S-400 Triumf ‘SA-21 Growler’ long-range surface-to-air missile (SAM) systems under which Russia will supply five Triumf regimental kits to the Indian Air Force (IAF).

The deal is worth $5.43 billion. Along with that, there is a joint venture between the two sides to manufacture Kamov Ka-226T ‘Hoodlum’ light utility helicopters. Around 140 helicopters are expected to be produced locally and they will be the main light utility helicopters for the IAF. 

Both countries have been in talks for the anti-tank capabilities to protect the troops. The Konkurs-M ‘AT-5b Spandrel’ anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs), is being manufactured under license by Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL).

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