In a game-changing arms acquisition , India on Saturday announced that it will buy the S-400 ‘Triumf’ air defence systems from Russia, worth over $5 billion, and collaborate in making four state of art frigates besides setting up a joint production facility for making Kamov helicopters.
The deals were announced following talks held between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the BRICS Summit being held here.
The development comes as Russia hopes to stave off tough competition from the Americans and the Europeans to continue being India’s foremost defence supplier .
Reading out a statement to the media in the presence of Putin, the Prime Minister appreciated Russia’s understanding and support of India’s actions to fight cross-border terrorism, an oblique reference to India’s surgical strike across the LoC targeting terror launch pads.
“Russia’s clear stand on the need to combat terrorism mirrors our own. We deeply appreciate Russia’s understanding and support of our actions to fight cross-border terrorism, that threatens our entire region.”
“We both affirmed the need for zero tolerance in dealing with terrorists and their supporters,”Modi said.
Putin, on his part, said both countries have close cooperation in fighting terrorism.
Modi said the “highly productive” outcomes of the meeting clearly establish the special and privileged nature of strategic partnership between the two countries.
“They also lay the foundations for deeper defence and economic ties in years ahead. The agreements on manufacturing of Kamov 226T helicopters; constructions of frigates; and acquisition and building of other defence platforms are in synergy with India’s technology and security priorities,” he said.
The two leaders also dedicated the unit two of Kudankulum nuclear power plant and witnessed foundation laying of its Unit 3 and 4.
The most strategically important decision inked on Saturday is the inter-governmental agreement for the purchase of S-400 ‘Triumf’ long-range air defence missile system which has the capability to destroy incoming hostile aircraft, missiles and even drones at ranges of up to 400km.
India and Russia have been in talks for over a year for the purchase of at least five systems of S-400 that will be a game changer in the region.
It is capable of firing three types of missiles, creating a layered defence, and simultaneously engaging 36 targets.
The S-400 surface-to-air missiles are meant to strengthen India’s defences along its borders with China and Pakistan, military officials have said.