Indo-Rus­sian Strate­gic Part­ner­ship–No Re­set Re­quired

Rus­sia is an old and re­li­able all-weather friend of in­dia, and the only coun­try that pro­vided nu­clear sub­marines to in­dia

SP's NavalForces - - FRONT PAGE - LT GEN­ERAL P.C. KA­TOCH (RETD)

Rus­sia is an old and re­li­able all-weather friend of In­dia, and the only coun­try that pro­vided nu­clear sub­marines to In­dia Lt Gen­eral P.C. Ka­toch (Retd)

SiGn­inG of the LO­GIS­TICS ex­change Me­moran­dum of agree­ment (LeMoa) be­tween in­dia and the US has been a sub­ject of in­tense de­bate in the me­dia. De­spite it being a lo­gis­tic ex­change agree­ment a cross-sec­tion opined that it amounted to a mil­i­tary al­liance, in­dia was put­ting all eggs into the amer­i­can bas­ket and that in­dia needed to re­set its re­la­tion­ship with rus­sia, which is mis­nomer.

in­dia has strate­gic co­op­er­a­tion agree­ment with mul­ti­ple coun­tries in­clud­ing with rus­sia. By sign­ing LeMoa, in­dia has not up­set its strate­gic co­op­er­a­tion with rus­sia in any man­ner. rus­sia is an old and re­li­able all-weather friend of in­dia, and the only coun­try that pro­vided nu­clear sub­marines to in­dia. the two coun­tries dis­cussed a new $4-bil­lion de­fence deal for four stealth frigates at the in­dia-rus­sia Mil­i­tary tech­ni­cal co­op­er­a­tion Work­ing Group (Mtc-WG) meet­ing at new Delhi in early Septem­ber wherein the rus­sian side sub­mit­ted Òa techno-com­mer­cial pro­pos­alÓ for the four multi-pur­pose frigates packed with sen­sors and weapons in­clud­ing the BRAHMOS su­per­sonic cruise mis­siles. as per the pro­posal two frigates will come from rus­sia and the other two will be con­structed in in­dia.

if the deal for the four new 4,000-tonne frigates is inked, they will add to the six rus­sian stealth frigates al­ready in­ducted by in­dia; 3 x tal­war class frigates in­ducted in 2003-04 and 3 x teg class frigates in­ducted in 2011-15, lat­ter hav­ing an op­er­at­ing range of 4,500 nau­ti­cal miles and ca­pa­bil­ity to han­dle threats in the air, sur­face and un­der- wa­ter. in­dia is also con­struct­ing its own stealth war­ships, hav­ing in­ducted three 6,100-tonne Shiva­lik class frigates. another ` 50,000-crore con­tract for con­struc­tion of the seven Project 17a stealth frigatesÑ four at the Mazagon Dock at Mum­bai and three in GrSe at KolkataÑ was inked in fe­bru­ary 2015. Seven Project 17a frigates are among the 39 war­ships and six Scor­pene sub­marines un­der con­struc­tion in in­dian ship­yards for over ` 3,00,000 crore. the 4 x stealth frigates of­fered by rus­sia will help add to com­bat power of in­dia that plans a 212 war­ship navy by 2027.

in­dia al­ready op­er­ates a nu­clear-pow­ered akula-ii sub­ma­rine chris­tened inS chakra, which was ac­quired on a 10-year lease from rus­sia in april 2012 un­der a $900-mil­lion deal. rus­sia has also of­fered its un­der-con­struc­tion nu­clear-pow­ered air­craft car­rier ÔS­tormÕ(Sh­torm) and tech­nolo­gies as­so­ci­ated with the project. re­port­edly uS has been un­will­ing to of­fer help to in­dia in nu­clear propul­sion for its in­dige­nous air­craft car­rier pro­gramme. indo-rus­sian re­la­tion­ship re­mains as strong as ever. the de­fence deals in the off­ing in­clud­ing the ones men­tioned herein would make the part­ner­ship stronger and the next sum­mit be­tween Prime Min­is­ter Modi and Pres­i­dent Putin will surely el­e­vate it to the next level.

PHO­TO­GRAPH: PIB

A file pho­to­graph of Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi with Rus­sian Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin in Tashkent, Uzbek­istan, on June 24, 2016

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