Russia, India sign RM20.8b air-defence deal in Delhi

By BLOOMBERG

NEW DELHI • Russia and India have signed a major defence deal worth more than US$5 billion (RM20.75 billion) for the supply of advanced S-400 surface-to-air missile systems during President Vladimir Putin’s visit to New Delhi last Friday.

The deal was signed on the sidelines of the summit between Putin and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

The threat of US sanctions against buyers of Russian weapons — imposed most recently on China — is not expected to affect the Indian contract.

Russia’s deal with India involves supplying five regiments of the missile system, Putin’s Foreign Affairs aide Yuri Ushakov said. In a joint statement released after the leaders’ meeting, the two countries also noted the move toward joint research and production of military technical equipment.

The system has been in service since 2007 and is a popular Russian arms export. It can shoot down aircraft and missiles at a range of 400km.

Turkey also is planning to buy the S-400, despite US opposition to the purchase by a fellow NATO member.

“The S-400 is a booster dose for the Air Force,” Indian Air Force chief Birender Singh Dhanoa said at his annual press conference in New Delhi on Oct 3.

Also on the table is a deal worth US$3 billion for four frigates from Russia for the Indian Navy. Two of these frigates would be built in a Russian shipyard and two more at India’s state-owned Goa Shipyard.