New Delhi (NVI): The first group of Indian military specialists is all set to travel to the Russian capital Moscow to train on S-400 air defence systems which are expected to be delivered to India by the end of this year.
Under the $5.4 billion deal with Russia signed in October 2018 for five S-400 systems, the first batch is expected to be delivered by the end of 2021.
Russian Ambassador to India, Nikolay R Kudashev today said that the agreement on the S-400 supplies is one of the flagship initiatives of bilateral military and military-technical cooperation, which constitutes the main pillar of the special and privileged strategic partnership between Russia and India.
He was speaking at a protocol event hosted by the Russian Embassy in India in honour of the first group of Indian military specialists heading to Moscow for the S-400 air defence systems training courses.
The Russian ambassador said that the agreement is based on mutual trust and reflects the “true spirit of our bilateral and multilateral commitments in the framework of our vision towards just and equal relations based on the international law and the UN Charter.”
“Coming out of bipolar world and successfully proceeding through the current establishment of the polycentric order, our partnership is becoming even stronger experiencing new areas and forms of mutually beneficial and forward-looking cooperation. It is absolutely true for our military and military-technical ties, which are based on ever-growing extraordinary mutual interest, coherence, consistence and complementarity. Throughout the years, Russian-Indian friendship has become an important factor of stability in the region and the globe,” he said in his address.
He said that currently, Russia and India are deeply involved in joint development and production of military equipment, components and spare parts as well as technologies sharing, improving after-sales service system. “We have developed an advanced legal base for this purpose,” he added.
“Along with S-400 systems project, we are successfully moving towards implementation of AK-203 Kalashnikovs contract (more than 700 thousand items to be produced at the JV Indo-Russian Rifles in India), 200 Ka-226 helicopters supplies and production in India as well as an advanced cooperation in the areas of combat aviation (including Su-30MKI programme), main battle tanks (T-90), frigates, submarines and missiles, including joint production of unique Brahmos,” Nikolay Kudashev said.
The envoy said that Russia is also looking forward to an early implementation of the spare parts joint production agreement, which also fits well in Make in India and Atmanirbhar Bharat programmes. He said that work also is going on the mutual logistics support agreement, strengthening maritime cooperation, including in the Indian Ocean.
“The next big step is the Aero-India – 2021 international exhibition and conference in Bangalore in February, where Russia intends to be one of the biggest exhibitors. We plan to demonstrate Su-57, Su-35 and MiG-35 fighter jets, helicopters Ka-52, Ka-226, Mi-17B-5, Mi-26 as well S-400 systems and many other new items and equipment,” said the ambassador.
The participants also visited the Russian Embassy’s Alexander M Kadakin Museum, the Russian embassy said in a statement.
Notably, India is getting advanced Russian air defence systems in the wake of a bitter border row with China in Ladakh.
The delivery of these defence systems also comes against the backdrop of possible US sanctions.