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Indian military ineffective sans Russian equipment


A Congressional Research Service (CRS) report has said that the Indian military cannot operate effectively without Russian supplied equipment.

The report is crucial in the pretext of the US administration’s review of Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA).


GS-III: Internal Security Challenges, GS-II: International Relations

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. More about the reports on India’s dependence on Russian equipment

More about the reports on India’s dependence on Russian equipment

  • According to the Military Balance 2021, India’s present military arsenal is heavily stocked with Russian-made or Russian-designed equipment.
  • There has been a considerable drop in India’s dependence on arms and equipment from Russia according to the report, but still the Indian military cannot operate effectively without Russian-supplied equipment and will continue to rely on its weapons systems in the near and middle terms.
  • According to Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), since 2010, Russia has been the source of nearly two-thirds (62%) of all Indian arms imports.
  • Further, India has been the largest Russian arms importer, accounting for nearly one-third (32%) of all Russian arms exports.
  • Much of Russia’s influence in India comes through its willingness to provide weapons systems and technologies that no other country will export to India. Russia also continues to offer advanced weapons platforms at relatively attractive rates.
  • Around 10,000 pieces of military hardware are procured from Russia.
  • The Indian Army’s main battle tank force is composed predominantly of Russian T-72M1 (66%) and T-90S (30%).
  • India is also negotiating on the price of AK103 rifles for Make in India.
  • Indian Navy’s sole operational aircraft carrier is a refurbished Soviet-era ship (INS Vikramaditya). The Navy’s fighter fleet comprises 43 MiG-29K.
  • The Indian Air Force’s 667-plane FGA (Fighter Ground Attack) fleet is 71% Russian-origin (39% Su-30s (Sukhoi), 22% MiG-21s, 9% MiG-29s).
  • All six of the service’s air tankers are Russian-made Il-78s.
  • The country’s only nuclear-capable supersonic cruise missile, BrahMos, is produced by a joint venture with Russia.
  • The US however, only provides non-lethal defence technology like C-130j Super Hercules, C-13 Globemaster, P-8i Poseidon etc, while Russia provides high-end technology like Brahmos supersonic missile, S-400 anti-missile system.

-Source: Indian Express

February 2024