India is set to join the United States of America and Russia in providing advanced missile shield to its important cities like New Delhi and Mumbai. Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), headed by Defence Minister Nirmarla Sitaraman, has approved the plan to procure the National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System-II (NASAMS) through a government-to government deal with US. The entire deal would be close to $ 1billion. Nasams-II is manufactured by Kongsberg and Raytheon.
The new missile system will replace aging Russian Pechora air defense systems. NASAMS-II will be armed with 3-D sentinel radar and short and medium-range missile launchers. It can also track and shoots down multiple airborne threats such as cruise missile, drones and fighter jets. This missile
Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is also developing two-tier ballistic missile defence (BMD) shield. The missile system of DRDO will be capable of tracking and destroying nuclear missiles both inside and outside the earth’s atmosphere. Once developed the BMD shield will be deployed to protect cities like New Delhi and Mumbai, whereas NASMAS-II will be used to intercept cruise missiles and aircraft. India is likely to issue letter of request to the US by the end of this year.
NASAMS II – a highly adaptable mid-range air defense system. Its battery consists of 12 missile launchers carrying six missiles each. The missile system employs the AIM-120 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM) as the primary weapon. The RIM-162 Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile can also be fired by the NASAMS-II.
The United States is concerned over India’s plans to sign a deal with Russia to procure the S-400 air defence system. The deal is worth Rs 40,000. Chairman of the US House Armed Services Committee Mac Thornberry said that India’s move would hinder the military ties between the two countries. According to Thornberry, concerns about India’s potential purchase of the S-400 have been conveyed to different levels of the US government.
Members of US House Armed Services Committee in India were of the opinion that procuring the Russian system would also make it difficult for the US to share sensitive technology with India in the future. “There is a lot of concern in the US administration and Congress with the S-400. There is concern that any country that acquires the system will complicate the ability of interoperability (with US forces),” reported Economic Times quoted Mac Thornberry as saying.
Thornberry also said that India should consider the decision to purchase the Russian missile system. India is likely to Ink the deal for procuring S-400 Triumf missile system before October’s annual summit between Prime Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The US had announced sanctions against Russia for its alleged involvement in meddling in the US presidential elections. Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) came into effect in January. Many US lawmakers and experts are of the opinion that India should be exempted from CAATSA.
In April this year, India has issued a Request of Information for the purchase of 110 fighter jets worth $15 billion. The two US-based companies Lockheed Martin and Boeing are pitching their respective fighter jets. Both the companies have agreed to transfer the technology to India. The US is planning to shift entire production line of Lockheed Martin F-16 jet in India. It will be interesting to see whether the US will put under CAATSA after India inks deal with Russia to acquire the most advanced air defence system.
S-400 is an advanced version of S-300. The missile system is capable of travelling at a rate of 4.8 kilometres per second (17,000 km/h; Mach 14). The missile system can destroy incoming enemy fighter jets, missiles and even drones up to the range of 400 km. This missile system is manufactured by Almaz-Antey and is serving Russian Military since 2007.
India has finally concluded price negotiations with Russia for a nearly Rs 40,000 crore deal to procure S-400 Triumf air defence missile systems for the Indian Air Force. Both India and Russia now have to find a way to evade the United States’ Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA). It is a law formulated by the US to punish countries and entities involved in defence transactions with Russia.
A Russian official confirmed that the final price negotiations had been concluded, reported PTI. Both the nations are likely to announce the deal before an October’s annual summit between Prime Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Both the leaders met in Sochi last week and supposedly the both might have discussed the deal.
The US had announced sanctions against Russia for its alleged involvement in meddling in the US presidential elections. CAATSA came into effect in January. Many US lawmakers and experts are of the opinion that India should be exempted from CAATSA. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has urged the Congress to provide necessary waiver to exempt India from the law. Similarly, US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis last month appealed to the Congress to urgently provide India the national security waiver.
India wants to procure the long-range missile systems to tighten its air defence mechanism, particularly along the nearly 4,000-km-long Sino-India border. In 2016 an agreement was signed between India and Russia on ‘Triumf’ interceptor based missile system. S-400 is an advanced version of S-300. The missile system can destroy incoming enemy fighter jets, missiles and even drones up to the range of 400 km. This missile system is manufactured by Almaz-Antey and is serving Russian Military since 2007.
India along with Pakistan will be participating in a multi-nation military exercise to be conducted in Russia in September this year. Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday officially announced India’s participation. Chinese forces will also be part of this exercise.
The military exercise in Russia is part of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO). India, China, Russia and Pakistan and other SCO nations are attending the exercise. For the first time, India is attending the Defence Ministers’ meeting at SCO being hosted in China.
Indian and Pakistan soldiers have worked together in the past during the United Nations peacekeeping missions and that to while providing security or in convoy protection deployment. The exercise, “Peace Mission 2018” is scheduled to be held in Russia’s Ural Mountains. It will begin in August-end and conclude in the first week of September. It will be the first-ever exercise in which Indian and Pakistan militaries will be participating together to conduct the mock military operation to fight terrorists. ‘Peace Mission 2018’ will be the fifth edition of the biennial multilateral exercise by the SCO countries. According to sources, India will send a 200-strong contingent to Russia.
India and Pakistan became the full member of the SCO on June 9, 2017. Both the nations were admitted as observers in 2005 in the SCO, which started in 2001 in Shanghai by China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan. Now the Organisation has eight full members ,four nations have been accorded “observer” status, while six others are “dialogue” partners.
During her China visit Sitharaman said, “India enjoys excellent bilateral defence cooperation with a large number of SCO countries, especially with Russia, as well as with all of India’s Central Asian partners represented in the SCO.” The Defence Minister further added, “We are guided in our relations with China by the consensus reached between our leaders that at the time of global uncertainty, India-China relations could be a factor of stability and that we must not allow our differences to become disputes.”
India’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) plans to start licensed production of AK (Avtomat Kalashnikova )-103, 7.62x51mm assault rifles in India. The MoD and Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) officials are likely to begin talks with Russian officials for licensed production of Ak-103. This will help in fulfilling the requirement of the Indian Army. The army requires over 7,68,000 assault rifles for the soldiers.
Just like Ak-47, The AK-103 rifle is also extremely easy to maintain and use. The production started in 1994 at Kalashnikov Rifle Works at Izhevsk in Russia. The AK-103 can be fitted with a variety of sights, including night vision and telescopic sights. In additional to this it has an option of attaching a knife-bayonet or a grenade launcher. It uses plastic components where possible instead of wood or metal. This make rifle light to use.
The rifle can fire 600 rounds-per-minute and its range is 500 metres. The muzzle velocity of the AK-103 is 750 metres/second. Ak-103 is the modern version of AK-43. It can mount 40-mm under-barrel grenade launchers. The empty rifles weigh around 3.40 kg and with loaded magazine it weighs 4.10 Kg. The AK-103 can be fired even with butt stock folded. Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman discussed the proposal to acquire AK-103 rifles with Russian officials during her Moscow visit this month. Indian Navy’s MARCOS Commandoes are already using AK-103 rifle.
India will be supplying four Mi-35 attack helicopters to Afghanistan to fight against the Pakistan-backed Taliban. India has decided to help the war-torn nation to carry out its operations against Taliban by enhancing its military capabilities, reported The Statesman, citing Afghan diplomatic sources. India is expected to directly purchase these Russian-made helicopters from Belarus. It would have taken a long time to procure the choppers if it were to place an order for their supplies.
Afghanistan, Belarus and India inked a trilateral pact for the refurbished Mi-24 helicopters in March, Afghan ambassador Shaida Abdali said in an interview to Hindustan Times. India had supplied four Mi-35 attack helicopters to Afghanistan in 2015-16 for strengthening the Afghan forces.
According to sources, the decision to supply four more four more helicopters to Afghanistan was taken after the US and other key Western powers pushed India to play a pro-active role in bringing stability in Afghanistan. Around 1,000 Afghan soldiers are already getting trained in Indian Defence institutions.
Afghanistan forces are mostly using Russian weapons. As Indian is also using Russian weapons, so United States has requested India to assist Afghanistan Air Force in combating terrorism. India and Afghanistan also propose to hold the next meeting of the strategic council between them in Kabul to consider ways to enhance the fighting ability of the Afghan forces, reported The Statesman. The last meeting was held in New Delhi last year. The US also has started implementing its four-year defence plan in Afghanistan as a result of this the strength of the Afghan Air Force (AAF) will be increased three-fold.
The air corridor established last year between India and Afghanistan to avoid the problems being created by Pakistan for trade between has helped the two nations in increasing trade and commercial links, whereas trade between Afghanistan and Pakistan has decreased considerably.
India has moved closer to finalise a deal of four advanced warships for the Indian Navy with Russia. The price for two of the naval vessels which are to be bought directly from Russia has been finalized at $1.1 billion, while the price negotiations for the remaining two warships to be manufactured at Goa Shipyard under ‘Make in India’ model is under progress. The Defence Ministry is pushing hard to close the deal at the earliest.
The four state-of-art warships to be inducted by the Indian Navy will enhance its blue water capabilities as these naval vessels will be equipped with the Brahmos supersonic cruise missiles. After negotiatons during defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s Russia visit, Russian material is to be supplied to the Goa Shipyards at around USD 200 million. The Indian negotiators will also get 18 per cent discount in the contract. The first two frigates will be built in Yantar Shipyard, in Kaliningrad, Russia, while the remaining two will be built in Goa Shipyard Limited (GSL).
A Russian team had come for price negotiations during the DefExpo 2018 held in Chennai. The discussions are still in progress. The defence minister visited Russia earlier this month to discuss multiple military programmes.
The Indian Navy is to operate 10 Krivak III class frigates. Six warships of Krivak class are already in operation. The first three warships were inducted between June 2003 and April 2004, while the next group of three warships was commissioned between April 2012 and June 2013. India is expecting to finalise the price by the next couple of months.
Indian and Russian companies signed seven Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) to indigense the manufacturing of spare parts of defence products. The ministry of defence included 48 components across all platforms which are to be produced by the domestic companies in collaboration with the Russian partner. The Indian Armed Forces are pushing for the joint ventures under the ’Make in India’ model.
Indian Tri-Services officials, Indian firms and Russian firms had a few rounds of meeting during the third Indian-Russian Military Industrial conference which was held at DefExpo 2018 on Friday. The Indian Navy considered this as a cost saving move. According to a report published in The Times of India, Rear Admiral and Assistant Chief of Naval Staff V M Doss said that this would lead to a saving of 400% to 2,000%. He further added that The Navy was looking to indigenise spare parts of MIG 29k planes which were inducted in 2009 and would be in service till 2037 to 2040.
According to a press release, Larsen and Toubro (L&T) and Moscow-based Rosoboronexport signed a MoU for developing underwater platforms for Indian Navy. Ananth Technologies signed two agreements with Russian companies JSC Concern Radio-Electronic Technologies (KRET) and Research and Production Corporation Uralvagonzavod. The agreement inked with KRET would provide product support to develop defence systems and to manufacture spare parts and providing service and maintenance for such items, while Ananth Technologies’ pact with Research and Production Corporation Uralvagonzavod would set up technical and logistic support for T90S and T72 Tanks to the Indian Army.
Another agreement signed between Space Era and Concern Radio-Electronic Technologies would ensure maximum operational availability of Sukhoi-30 MKI and Helicopters of MI 8, MI 17 and MI 35 Type helicopters by forming a strategic partnership for technical and logistics support. A MoU was also signed between Russian firm OSKROSOMARINE and JSC AGAT for development of Fregat radar on-board Indian Naval frontline warships.
Russia offers India to sell 21 used Mig – 29s at a very cheap price. The Indian government would be very cautious to take a decision of purchasing these 21 fighter jets. India needs to draw parallel from the deal of buying aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov. Russia offered this aircraft carrier free of cost to India, only refurbishment cost was there, which was decided at $950 million. But as soon as the work started, the cost also kept on increasing. Finally India had to pay $2.4 billion, so India ended up paying almost $1.3 billion more than the decided cost. The aircraft carrier was delivered almost five years after the scheduled delivery time.
India will be deeply analysing the proposal of Russia. The Russian government offered a price of $25 million- $30 million for each aircraft, which is almost 30% of the new aircraft. The Indian government would also be considering the hidden cost. The Indian Air Force (IAF) is having Mig -29 UPG in its inventory, but The Russian Migs are different from the one’s the IAF is possessing. India has also rejected the Russian offer to co-develop fifth generation fighter jet because of the high cost involve in it.
Currently The IAF is facing shortage of Fighter squadrons. The Indian Air Force has only 34 fighter squadron against the authorised strength of 42 squadrons. It will reduce further as Migs will be retiring over the next few years. To tackle the shortage and to encounter the joint threat from China and Pakistan, the IAF has initiated a process on Friday to buy 110 fighter jets. Request for Information (RFI) was issued to seek tenders from the companies interested to sell fighter jets to India. Lockheed Martin’s F-16 Block 70, SAAB’s Gripen, Dassault Aviation’s Rafale and Boeing’s F-18 Super Hornet are the main contenders in the race to get $15 billion mega defence deal.
India successfully test fired BrahMos supersonic cruise missile from Rajasthan’s Pokhran test range on 22nd March 2018 around 8:42 AM. The missile was test fired with an indigenous seeker developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). Earlier India used to use seekers made by Russia. Initially the range of BrahMos was capped at 290 Km due to the restrictions put up by Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR). Since India’s entry into the group, the range has been increased to 450 KM.
BrahMos can travel at three times the speed of sound, attaining maximum speed of Mach 3.0
Last year in November India successfully test fired BrahMos from Sukhoi -30 MKI.
Nirbhaya is another cruise missile which India is looking forward to. It is still under trial phase. Once developed Nirbahaya is said to supplement the role played by BrahMos missile. Till now five trials have been conducted. Nirbhaya is a long range subsonic missile weighing up to 1,500 Kg and having an operational range from 1,000 km up to 1,500 km. Nirbhaya can attain maximum speed of 0.7 Mach.
India along with Russia is developing BrahMos-II missile. It is expected to get ready for testing by the year 2020. BrahMos-II is expected to have a maximum speed of 7 Mach. Making it the fastest cruise missile in the world. An operation range is expected range between 450 Km – 600 Km.
India has also varied range of ballistic Missiles like Agni Series missiles, Prithvi series missiles, Shaurya missile and Sagrika missile. In addition to this we have Anti-Tank Guided missile – Nag. India also possesses Akash and Astra Missiles.