During a summit between President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi in October, India will sign an agreement with Russia for the procurement of four frigates for the Indian Navy, the Economic Times reported.
According to the report, the deal, which is likely to be worth $2.2 billion, will result in India getting four Project 11356 or advanced Talwar-class frigates. Two of these warships will be built by a shipyard based in Goa.
As the shipyard will require new infrastructure to build these frigates, the cost of the Indian-made ones is likely to be 30-50 per cent more than those being acquired from Russian directly, the daily’s report says.
The deal is likely to be signed even as the Donald Trump administration in the United States has decided to impose sanctions on countries buying weapons from Moscow. Most likely, India will get a waiver from the US. However, according to Reuters, Pentagon’s top Asia official Randall Schriver has said that the US can’t guarantee a waiver from sanctions if India signs the deal.
India, on its part, has explained that it can’t cut off its defence ties with Russia as a large part of its equipment is of Russian or Soviet origin. Around 60 per cent of India’s defence imports come from Russia. However, in the last one decade, India has diversified its sources of defence equipment to include the US. India has signed multiple multi-billion deals with US-based firms. In numbers, the India-US defence trade has risen from near zero to over $15 billion.
The Narendra Modi government will also go ahead with the deal for the procurement of S-400 Triumf air defense system from Russia despite the threat of sanctions from the US. However, it is not clear if the multi-billion deal will be signed by the two countries in October or at a later stage.
By: Swarajya Mag
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