The Indian military cannot operate effectively without Russian-supplied equipment according to CSR report.
Periodic reports on various issues are prepared by CRS by specific subject experts to help lawmakers take informed decisions. These are not official reports of the Congress.
Although there has been a considerable drop in India’s dependence on arms and equipment’s from Russia since 2015 and it will continue to rely on Russian weapons systems in the near future, as per conclusion of Congressional Research Service (CRS) report named ‘Russian Arms Sales and Defence Industry’ by the analysts in India and beyond.
Russia has been the source of nearly two-thirds (62 per cent) of all Indian arms imports and India has been the largest Russian arms importer, accounting for nearly one-third (32 per cent) of all Russian arms exports, according to SIPRI.
Between 2016 and 2020, India accounted for nearly one-quarter (23 per cent) of Russia’s total arms exports and Russia accounted for roughly half (49 per cent) of Indian imports, according to PTI.
The report comes ahead of the Biden administration decision on India buying military arms from Russia, whether to impose sanctions against India under Section 231 of the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA).
Alternatives to the S-400 offered by Washington – the Patriot and THAAD systems lack the purported range and versatility of the Russian equipment. India’s plan to purchase S-400 air defense systems made by Russia is in progress since 2016 which could trigger US sanctions.
In late 2019, India submitted USD 800 million towards the full USD 5.4 billion contract for S-400 systems despite a trend away from Russian arms imports. It also entered a new USD 3.1 billion contract for indigenous production of 464 Russian-designed T-90S tanks, as per CSR.
According to The Military Balance 2021, India’s present military arsenal is heavily stocked with Russian-made or Russian-designed equipment. The Indian Army’s main battle tank force is composed predominantly of Russian T-72M1 (66 per cent) and T-90S (30 per cent). The Indian Navy’s sole operational aircraft carrier is a refurbished Soviet-era ship, and its entire complement of fighter and ground attack aircraft are Russian-made or produced in India on license. The Navy’s fighter fleet comprises 43 MiG-29K/KUBs, CSR said.
Four of the Navy’s 10 guided-missile destroyers are Russian Kashin class, and six of its 17 frigates are Russian Talwar class. The Navy’s sole nuclear-powered submarine is on lease from Russia, and eight of the service’s 14 other submarines are Russian-origin Kilo class.”Finally, the Indian Air Force’s 667-plane FGA fleet is 71 per cent Russian-origin (39 per cent Su-30s, 22 per cent MiG-21s, nine per cent MiG-29s). All six of the service’s air tankers are Russian-made Il-78s,” CRS report said.
Source : The Tribune, The Times of India