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India looks beyond Russia for defense imports – POLITICO

“How is it that the Patriots destroyed the Kinzhal missiles which were presented as invincible? How come Russian ships become such easy targets for a country that has no navy? Its spy planes such as A-50s and fighter jets such as Sukhois were shot down with such efficiency,” Rao told POLITICO.

The Indian Air Force has long been dominated by Russian aircraft, but as the country now plans to refurbish and acquire more than 100 new multi-role combat aircraft, it is not even considering a Russian offer. Meanwhile, defense ties with the United States are strengthening — even as both sides still grapple with deep-rooted mistrust.

For example, during Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the White House last year, US President Joe Biden signed an agreement allowing General Electric to transfer engine technology to India to power its new line of aircraft of fight.

And yet, given the long-standing distrust between Washington and New Delhi, due to past US defense sales to Pakistan and its reluctance to share defense technology with India, France appears to be the new India’s favorite. New Delhi still doubts whether the United States will share the promised engine technology. Meanwhile, the United States remains concerned about the risk of critical technology ending up in the hands of Russia via India.

When Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the White House last year, US President Joe Biden signed an agreement allowing General Electric to transfer engine technology to India. | Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

France, on the other hand, is seen as more willing to co-produce and easier to work with, and is also not plagued by a cumbersome legislative process for selling arms and transferring technology. And with India’s recent purchase of 26 Rafale fighter jets, France has already become the country’s second largest exporter.

“France is the new Russia, and much more than that,” Rao said. Besides, according to defense experts, India also plans to increase trade with Israel and South Korea and is considering procurement of a new submarine by German and Spanish companies.

Despite all this, India will continue to maintain its relations with Russia, even amid declining defense imports. The ever warmer relations between China and Russia worry India, which will want to keep Moscow as a friend. And with nearly 65% ​​of India’s equipment – ​​helicopters, tanks and fighter jets included – originally coming from Russia, the country cannot wean itself off all imports overnight.

Yet after almost single-handedly arming India’s defense forces in the 1960s, Russia is now demoted to just one defense partner among many – an unexpected loss for the Russian military-industrial complex, primarily due to President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.


Sara Adm

Aimant les mots, Sara Smith a commencé à écrire dès son plus jeune âge. En tant qu'éditeur en chef de son journal scolaire, il met en valeur ses compétences en racontant des récits impactants. Smith a ensuite étudié le journalisme à l'université Columbia, où il est diplômé en tête de sa classe.Après avoir étudié au New York Times, Sara décroche un poste de journaliste de nouvelles. Depuis dix ans, il a couvert des événements majeurs tels que les élections présidentielles et les catastrophes naturelles. Il a été acclamé pour sa capacité à créer des récits captivants qui capturent l'expérience humaine.
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