Could India Cuts It’s Defence Ties With Russia? Asks BBC …..Yes But Only After Cutting All Such Ties with USA & UK
Colonel Awadhesh Kumar
India will buy from whoever it thinks offers the most suitable and best-value deal – be it Russia or other countries. Also India will brook no interference in its use thereafter. All this should be clear to all and sundry and especially to BBC which keeps raising such doubts.
India has been developing its homegrown defence industry through indigenous means and also through joint partnerships with other countries. Overall by now India is around 60 % “ ATMANIRBHAR “ and in some field this has reached 95 %. This also involves using state-of-the-art technology from abroad to give a major push to arms manufacturing under programmes such as “Make in India”.
When UK and USA were playing truant in supplying the requested submarine, ships, tanks and fighters to India from late 1950s Onwards, it was the Soviet Union which offered its best weapons at very attractive prices.
However, even at that time India had started its quest to become self sufficient in military field but without getting into an Arms Race with any one. Then slowly we began moving up the ladder which has now resulted in State of art missiles and Nuclear weapons which are second to none. It’s just a matter of time when we catch up with rest of the 40% items with pure indigenous replacements.
So it was a very dumb US Congressional report in October which stated that the “Indian military cannot operate effectively without Russian-supplied equipment and will continue to rely on Russian weapons systems in the near and middle term”. Also still more dumber people chose to believe the report.
Indian Armed Forces number more than 1.5 million for whom vast amount of equipment is required. So even in those field where we start becoming self reliant, to maintain volume needs, the Indian army in particular will continue to keep using Russian equipment. Also the fact is that our personnel are fully familiar with their Russian equipment and so we will not discard them in a hurry. Only Indians know how to squeeze out the last bit from a tooth paste tube !!!
Finally the relationship with Russia has withstood the test of time since that wretched Nixon along with his British poodle had tried to threaten India in 1971 by sending a naval task force each. Has BBC forgotten that before raising stupid questions regarding Indo Russian friendship ?
Some ‘smart’ in the pack of Western defence experts have started saying that Indian policymakers should be taking note of some of the issues that have faced Russian battlefield equipment and munitions in Ukraine. They should not get worried. India had taken similar notes during 1971 and Kargil wars and noted how Russian made/ origin weapon systems had made mince meat of Western weapon systems supplied to Pakistan. Recent downing of F16 by MiG21 is another fine example.
Another expert from Stimson Centre, says there could now be issues with key components for the Russian S-400 surface-to-air missile system, which India bought in 2018, only part of which has been delivered. Why should there be any issues ? Are such parts supplied by Ukraine or the USA or UK to Russia? India will be paying for such parts and Russia will supply them ( who is bothered about western sanctions). At the worst it will be just matter of months before we indigenize such parts if required.
Stimson Centre should know that India is well on It’s track to have a full air defence system of own. The 5 batteries of S400 are just to fill in the essential gaps. In similar manner as gap fillers, India has bought equipment from other countries – noticeably from France, but also from Israel and the US and, to a lesser extent, the UK.
India has also turned to Israel for some of its high-tech defence and security needs, including drones, AWACS, anti missiles and precision guided munition. In most now India has already achieved major break through or is on the verge of it.
Major purchases from US include long-range maritime patrol aircraft and C-130 transport aircraft, as well as missiles and drones, and a recent Pentagon statement spoke of “deepening co-operation” in space defence and cyber-security. Similarly, during a trip to Delhi in April by Boris Johnson, the UK and India pledged to deepen defence and security ties, highlighting joint collaboration in advanced jet fighter technology.
The above notwithstanding, how come the Western Countries think that India will just become their camp follower? India has not joined in the Western condemnation of Russia’s because of its conflict with Ukraine, making clear it doesn’t want to take sides. India makes its own policies
India would like to be a “good friend” to Western countries but based on equality and nothing else.