Kremlin lost U.S. nose: Putin “squeezed” into India S-400

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Exhale, Beaver, India has already made an advance for the supply of Russian s-400 surface-to-air missile systems. Now, according to Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov, “everything will go according to schedule” and deliveries of complexes will begin in 2020, India will receive five regiments of the latest sadr, for which it will pay 5.43 billion dollars. What is the reason for joy? A major S-400 contract signed in early October 2018 may have been unfulfilled due to a number of reasons, including pressure on New Delhi from Washington. But this was not the main reason – India in recent years “floated” from the sphere of military-trade cooperation with Russia, and now it seems to be resuming. Isn’t that a cause for joy?

It is clear that Putin is “to blame” for everything. This he during a recent meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the sidelines of the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok agreed with an “Indian friend” a whole package of bilateral documents in the trade, investment, and military-technical spheres, in the industry, education, and culture. The military part of the deal resulted in orders of India Russian weapons worth 14.5 billion dollars, which included both the S-400 and the frigates of Project 11356 (in the Russian Navy these are the existing “Admiral Grigorovich,” “Admiral Essen,” “Admiral Makarov”, three more frigates are launched India’s shipyards, as well as a large shipment of ammunition for air, naval and land forces. Where the income will go is not quite clear (here we are in the first place for the sale of wheat, and bread in stores only more expensive), but the fact of acquiring a partner in this area, in any case, is favorable for the defense industry itself. This is a guaranteed package of orders, and salaries of workers, and an opportunity to improve their military equipment and weapons. So the “Indian penny,” the rupee, is not superfluous for the domestic MIC. Again, there is a political nuance – the arms trade involves some allied relations.

The U.S. actively opposed the supply of Russian S-400 missile defense systems to Turkey, citing the fact that this is a NATO country and the purchase of Russian complexes will destroy the alliance’s security system. Even Ankara was refused to participate in the F-35 fighter jet program as a “punishment.” Everything is much more prosaic – Washington wanted to sell the Turks its Patriot missile defense system, which is both more expensive and less effective. Now Turkey is considering the possibility of purchasing Russian Su-57 fighter jets or, more likely, Su-35. It’s a business, nothing personal. India, which also purchased weapons from the United States (Washington threatened New Delhi and about the S-400), makes a U-turn in the direction of Russian military products. Hindus are also looking at the Su-35, are negotiating the supply and licensing production of portable anti-aircraft missile system (MANPADS) “Igla-S” (nearly $1.5 billion), concluded an intergovernmental agreement on the lease of the Russian APL ” Chakra-3″ ($3 billion), and so, something on the little things.

It is known that more than 70 percent of tanks, self-propelled artillery units, multiple rocket launchers, fighter jets, bombers, attack aircraft, long-range radar detection and control aircraft, helicopters, aircraft carriers, frigates, nuclear and diesel submarines, missile ships, coastal defense system, which are in service with the Indian Army, Air Force and Navy – Russian and Soviet-made. To date, 40 percent of military equipment in the Indian army is produced in Russia or collected under Russian license at local factories. In aviation, this share is 80 percent, in the fleet -75. However, it is not appropriate to talk about the Russian monopoly in military-technical cooperation with India. New Delhi actively acquires weapons in other countries, primarily in the United States, France, Israel.

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India has systematically curtailed its export programs for Russian weapons in recent years and, as experts note, was frankly “capricious” by demanding better terms, blackmailing the possibility of purchases from other countries, in same France. India’s arms purchase portfolio in Russia fell from 30 percent in 2013 to 16 percent in 2018. only two billion dollars, then the amount was reduced. So the current orders for 14.5 billion, which Putin “knocked out” from Modi in Vladivostok can really be called “breakthrough” in military-technical cooperation between the two countries.

“Of course, we shouldn’t be particularly deceived about this – India has not made a final choice in favor of Russia,” said military expert Vladislav Shurygin. -Recently, New Delhi chooses between buying weapons in Russia, the United States, Europe, and its own production. Hindus constantly hold tenders, change conditions, put forward new demands. And the sum of 14.5 billion dollars implies not a short-term payment. The same contract for the S-400 for 5.43 billion will be extended until 2025 and the cash tranches will arrive gradually. The same can be said under the agreement under which India is preparing to purchase from Russia 464 T-90MS tanks worth about 2 billion. The contract does not provide for the supply of finished tanks, but machine sets for later assembly at Indian enterprises. However, the similar in the corporation “Uralvagonzavod” (producer of tanks) are happy – this is one of the largest foreign contracts in recent years. Vietnam and Iraq, for example, requested the supply of 64 and 73 such tanks, respectively.

Indeed, the contract for the supply or joint development of the fifth-generation fighter on the basis of the Su-57 could be “breakthrough”. If India adopts more than 200 such multi-role aircraft within 10 years, the cost will be almost $35 billion. Now the Indian Air Force uses 200 Russian Su-30MKI fighters, which were ordered for more than 12 billion dollars. Now India has decided to buy Rafale fighter jets from France – 36 aircraft worth 8 billion dollars. Each French machine (fourth generation of fighter jets) costs 218 million dollars, this is despite the fact that the purchase of Russian Su-57 (fifth generation) would cost 80-100 million per unit. That is, the Indians for such money could buy not 36 already obsolete Rafales, but about 100 more advanced fighters.

Recall that today Russian weapons are actively acquired by India, Algeria, Vietnam, China, Iran, Iraq, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Bangladesh, Nicaragua – this is the top ten most active and permanent buyers. India is still leading the list, including through the current arrangements, which include the S-400.