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Working hard to ensure early supply of S-400 missile systems to India: Russia | India News

NEW DELHI: Russia said on Thursday it was working “very hard” to advance the supply of S-400 surface-to-air missiles to India, although delivery of the first batch of the weapons system is scheduled for late next. year.
In an online press conference, Russian Deputy Chief of Mission Roman Babushkin also said that both sides are working on a mutual logistical support agreement and close to sealing a multi-million dollar deal under which an Indo-Russian joint venture will produce 200 Kamov. Ka- 226T Attack Helicopters for the Indian Armed Forces.
When asked if the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA) signed between India and the United States will have security implications in the operation of Russian-origin platforms by the Indian armed forces, Babushkin did not give a direct answer, but said that Moscow’s defense ties with India are immune from any “foreign interference and restrictions.”
“We are watching very closely the relations in strategic areas between India and other nations, including the United States, of course. But at the same time we are absolutely sure that whatever ties India is developing with other nations, they will not be. at the expense of Russian interests, “he said.
Last month, India and the US signed the landmark BECA agreement that will provide the exchange of high-end military technology, geospatial maps, and classified satellite data between their armies.
“Regarding our defense cooperation with India, it is immune from any foreign restrictions and interference, because it reflects the national interests of both countries and we are proceeding with a great sense of confidence to the future progress of our relations,” Babushkin. said.
On the S-400 deal, he said: “The timelines were unchanged at this time. The first batch is expected to be delivered in late 2021, but we are working very hard for an earlier supply.”
In October 2018, India signed a $ 5 billion deal with Russia to purchase five units of the S-400 air defense missile systems, despite the Trump administration’s warning that going ahead with the contract may lead to the sanction of the United States.
In light of the evolving security scenario in its neighborhood, India recently requested Russia to explore the possibility of advancing the provision of interceptor-based missile systems that can destroy incoming hostile aircraft, missiles, and even drones at ranges up to 400 km.
Last year, India made the first tranche of payment of around $ 800 million to Russia for the missile systems. The S-400 is known as Russia’s most advanced long-range surface-to-air missile defense system.
Babushkin said that the Kamov helicopter deal and another to manufacture 700,000 AK-47 203 rifles in India under an Indo-Russian joint venture were in the final stages of completion.
In October 2016, India and Russia had finalized a comprehensive agreement to establish a joint venture between Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) and two large Russian defense companies for the acquisition of 200 Kamov Ka-226T helicopters for the Indian armed forces.
According to the understanding, 60 Kamov-226T helicopters will be supplied to India in flight condition, while 140 will be manufactured in India. Russia had agreed to guarantee technology transfer to India as part of the pact.
India and Russia finalized the deal to manufacture AK-203 rifles during Defense Minister Rajnath Singh’s visit to Moscow two months ago.
On the Mutual Logistics Support Agreement (MLSA), Babushkin said it will help deepen maritime security cooperation between the two countries, particularly in the Indian Ocean Region.
The MLSA will allow the armies of the two countries to use each other’s bases to repair and resupply supplies, in addition to facilitating the expansion of general defense cooperation. India has already signed similar agreements with the United States, Australia, Japan, France and Singapore.
The Russian deputy chief of mission also said both countries were also working on a number of other military acquisition programs, including supplying another batch of Su-30 MKI jets to India. The other important programs mentioned by him are related to the main battle tanks, frigates, submarines and missiles.
The Kamov helicopters will be supplied to the Indian Air Force and Army. Both forces have been pushing for an early conclusion of the deal, so that they can replace their old fleet of existing helicopters within the next three to four years.
Babushkin said that Russia is also aiming to secure its largest participation in the upcoming Aero-India, considered the largest aerospace exhibition in Asia. The exhibition will take place in Bangalore in February.
“You will also see new developments in our defense associations,” he said.

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