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India is not convinced of Russia’s weapons to respond to the threat of China and Pakistan

New Delhi (AP) — India is looking for ways to avoid major disruptions in the supply of Russian-made weapons in US sanctions after Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s tightrope walks. China.

Up to 60% of India’s defense equipment comes from Russia, experts say, when New Delhi faces a two-year-old confrontation with China in eastern Ladakh over territorial disputes for tens of thousands. I’m being restrained. The number of soldiers within range. In 2020, 20 Indian soldiers and 4 Chinese soldiers were killed in the clash.

“The nightmare scenario for India is when the United States faces a greater threat from Russia and comes to the conclusion that this justifies strategic adaptation with China. Frankly, defending the European side. While acknowledging China’s dominance in Asia, “Sarang, a former foreign secretary of Sham India, wrote in a recent blog post.

Will China, learning lessons from Ukraine, become an invader in the conflicting eastern Ladakh and Taiwan?

“They are very likely to do that,” said Zitendra Nas Misra, a former diplomat and prominent fellow at the Jindal Graduate School of International Affairs.

President Joe Biden talked about the unresolved differences with India after abstaining from voting for a UN resolution against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Modi has traditionally avoided voting against Russia and criticizing Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

In the early 1990s, about 70% of Indian weapons, 80% of the Air Force system, and 85% of the Navy platform were of Soviet origin. India is now reducing its reliance on Russia’s weapons and diversifying its defense procurement, including countries such as the United States, Israel, France and Italy.

From 2016 to 2020, Russia accounted for nearly 49% of India’s defense imports, with France and Israel having 18% and 13%, respectively, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.

Former Indian Army commander DS said India relies heavily on Moscow for military enhancement and modernization, not only relying on Russian weapons, but also advancing towards independence in the defense sector. Lieutenant General Huda said.

“Russia is the only country that has leased nuclear submarines to India. Will other countries lease nuclear submarines to India?” Huda asked.

“There is one aircraft carrier in the Indian Navy. It’s Russia. Most of India’s fighters and about 90% of their combat tanks are Russia,” said Sushant Singh, senior researcher at the Center for Policy Research, India.

In 1987, the Indian Navy leased the Charlie-class nuclear cruise missile submarine Chakra 1 from the former Soviet Union for training, and then replaced it with another Soviet submarine, Chakra 2. In 2019, India will lease a $ 3 billion Akula-1 class nuclear attack submarine from Russia for 10 years. It will be delivered by 2025.

India purchased the only aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya from Russia in 2004. This aircraft carrier was commissioned to the Russian Navy during the former Soviet Union era. India’s first 40,000-ton aircraft carrier is undergoing maritime testing prior to planned guidance. next year.

There are also four nuclear ballistic missile submarines in India.

The Indian Air Force currently operates more than 410 Soviet and Russian fighters, with a mix of imported and licensed platforms. India’s inventory of Russian military equipment also includes submarines, tanks, helicopters, submarines, frigates and missiles.

Mr Misura said the United States has shown no willingness to provide technology transfer to India.

“I’d like to ask our American friend, what defense technology did you give us? The United States offers a rebranded F-21. It’s a -16 fighter. The F-16 is outdated in terms of India. I went to the Mig-21 in the 1960s because the F-104 was rejected by India. The same thing is happening, “he said. Told.

“Under the AUKUS Agreement, the United States is willing to share submarine nuclear propulsion technology with Australia, but with India,” he added, between the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia. Mentioned a trilateral security agreement.

Australia decided in September to cancel its multi-billion dollar contract to buy a French diesel electric submarine, saying it would instead buy a U.S. nuclear ship under a new Indo-Pacific defense pact under AUKUS. ..

During President Donald Trump’s term, the United States and India signed more than $ 3 billion in defense deals. Bilateral defense trade increased from nearly zero in 2008 to $ 15 billion in 2019. 130 transport planes, missiles and drones.

As Ukraine’s crisis deepens, the challenge for India is how to navigate international sanctions against Russia.

The Russian S-400 missile system arrangement with Moscow put India at risk of US sanctions after Washington asked its partners to avoid buying Russian military equipment. The S-400 is a sophisticated ground-to-air defense system that is expected to be given to India as a strategic deterrent to rivals China and Pakistan.

New Delhi has sought help from Washington and its allies in confronting China, the common foundation of the Indo-Pacific Security Alliance, known as the “quad,” which includes Australia and Japan.

Following the history of India’s acquisition of Soviet weapons, former Admiral SCS Bangara said India began looking for weapons and ammunition after the 1962 war with China.

As a result of the Cold War, the United States reconciled with China, and Pakistan, as a facilitator, had a trump card that could be used to seek full support from the US government in the event of a conflict between India and Pakistan, he said.

During the Indian War with Pakistan in December 1971, which led to the creation of Bangladesh, the United States deployed a task force led by USS Enterprise in the Bay of Bengal to support Pakistan.

In the mid-1960s, India negotiated a series of takeover agreements with the Soviet Union, which lasted for the next 40 years, Bangara said.

“It wasn’t seamless, especially when the Soviet Union collapsed. When the coalition collapsed into smaller states, a long chain of training facilities collapsed along with the logistics supply chain,” he said.

Even as India diversifies its defense acquisitions from the United States, Israel, France and other countries, it may take 20 years to overcome its reliance on Russia’s supplies and spares, Bangara said.

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Associated Press writer Aijaz Hussain contributed this report from Srinagar, India.

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