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Indian government will not give up Russian weapons due to US threats

NEW DELHI, (BM) – The United States will not be able to take away Russia’s place as India’s top arms exporter, Chinese analyst Sohu said, learned BulgarianMilitary.com

Read more: Second US failure! After Turkey, India expects its S-400 by the end of 2024

New Delhi is one of the largest importers of weapons in the world and adheres to a balanced strategy: it buys weapons from Russia and the United States at the same time. Moscow still remains the preferred arms supplier for New Delhi. More than 70% of the Indian army is Russian weapons. Therefore, Washington has always been jealous on this issue.

The Americans are the world’s largest exporter of weapons and technology, and India is the largest importer in this area. After the aggravation of the conflict in the border territories of New Delhi, he ordered Russian Su-30 and MiG-29 fighters.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi knows that for the United States, India is a strategically important part of the American strategy in the Asia-Pacific region. He also understands the urgent need for outside support after the deteriorating geopolitical situation, but still chose Russian weapons, writes the Sohu analyst.

The urgent order of weapons without recourse to the United States greatly upset the Americans. The US government has once again warned India to be careful with Russian anti-aircraft missile systems (SAM) and fighters. Further purchases will affect military cooperation between New Delhi and Washington, as well as NATO members.

When India starts buying American F-16 and F-35 fighters, this will be a prerequisite for Russia’s refusal to sell it the S-400 air defense system. If the country dares to deepen cooperation with Moscow for the purchase of air defense systems and Su-35 aircraft, then it will lose the United States as an exporter, the Chinese analyst is sure. This statement was made by Assistant Secretary of State Clark Cooper.

Read more: The production of five S-400 air defense systems for India has begun

The Patriot anti-aircraft missile system, F-16 and F-35 aircraft are popular in India. The state also purchases French fighters Dassault Rafale and Dassault Mirage 2000 from NATO countries. At the same time, such weapons still do not satisfy all the needs of India.

To intimidate New Delhi, the US even claimed that Russian weapons threaten the country’s national security. Such statements went unnoticed, so the Americans embarked on a new strategy. Washington allowed India to choose between the US and Russia. If a country wants modern American weapons, then it will have to abandon Russian innovations.

In fact, the United States has allowed the acquisition of low-level weapons such as tanks, armored personnel carriers, firearms or ammunition from Russia. India should abandon air defense systems and fighters in favor of the United States.

Nevertheless, the US strategy is unlikely to be successful, noted in Sohu. Cooperation between Russia and India is very intense. Moscow has promised New Delhi a gradual transition in fighter technology and permission to independently produce fourth-generation aircraft. The United States cannot afford that.

Unsurprisingly, the Indian government is trying to maintain a balanced strategy. Only no threats from Washington will force New Delhi to abandon Russia as an arms exporter, Sohu concluded.

Read more: Washington is pressuring India to abandon Russian S-400 missile systems

Earlier, the Ministry of Steel Industry of India announced the expansion of cooperation with Russian coal suppliers. The annual volume may increase to 40 million tons.

First Indian S-400 air defense system goes into service in 2021

The first complex of the S-400 Triumph air defense system will arrive in India in 2021, the press secretariat of the Russian Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation said on August 24.

“The duration of the contract has been discussed in detail with Indian partners. The delivery of the first regiment is expected by the end of 2021,” said Vorobyova, a member of the Federal Service.

According to Vorobyova, accelerating the delivery of the first complex to India is impossible for technical reasons, and the prospects for faster delivery of the next batch should be discussed with Indian colleagues.

It will be recalled that it was previously announced that during the negotiations at the highest level in 2018 a contract was signed for the supply of five sets of S-400 “Triumph”.

India is sending conflicting signals. Weeks ago, New Delhi announced that it would bet on his own production

India has published a list of weapons, military and special equipment (AME), the import of which will be banned for the next seven years. There are 101 samples in total, BulgarianMilitary.com reported earlier this month. The main goal pursued by New Delhi is to strengthen the self-sufficiency of its military-industrial base.

The list includes weapons such as artillery, assault rifles, corvettes, sonar systems, transport aircraft, ammunition, radar stations, diesel-electric submarines, communications satellites, and ship-based cruise missiles.

Read more: Top 5 best anti-aircraft missile systems in the World

Announcing the move, Indian Defense Minister Rajnath Singh called it “a big step towards self-sustaining defense production in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Atmanirbhar Bharat or Self-Sufficient India.”

Atmanirbhar Bharat is Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of making India an independent nation. The first mention of this came in the form of “Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan” or “Self-Reliant India Mission” during the announcement of the economic package related to the coronavirus pandemic on May 12, 2020.

At the same time, it is emphasized that this independent policy does not seek to be protectionist.

Rajnath Singh added that this decision will open up an excellent opportunity for the national defense industry to produce weapons from the published list, using the capabilities of domestic design and development.

“It is planned that the arms import embargo will be gradually introduced between 2020 and 2024,” the Indian Defense Ministry said in a statement. “The purpose of the release of the list is to assess the Indian defense industry in relation to the expected needs of the Indian armed forces, so that they are better prepared to equip the army and navy with weapons of national design and manufacture.”

A total of $ 53.4 billion worth of weapons and military equipment samples from the list are to be produced in India with the participation of local companies as prime contractors.

Of this, about $ 17.3 billion will go to Army or Air Force programs, and $ 18.6 billion worth of defense contracts will go to naval programs. The Indian Ministry of Defense said these orders would be placed with domestic companies over the next five to seven years.

Read more: US is trying to prevent India from buying S-400 and Su-35 from Russia

A military spokesman in New Delhi said Indian industry now has a better chance of competing domestically and meeting local demand. “Transfer of foreign technology will be key. However, Indian companies will lead this process,” the official added.

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