The India-Russia military exercises are being held from October 19-29, 2017. India has termed exercise INDRA 2017 as a landmark event of India-Russia defense cooperation. Although these exercises are the largest ever, military cooperation between Russia and India goes a long way back.
The language barrier has never been an obstacle for the participants of the drills. Many Indian officers were trained in Russian military universities and can speak Russian well. They perfectly know Russia military vehicles because they have been using them for more than half a century.
The Indian contingent comprises 350 personnel of the Indian Army, 80 Indian Air Force (IAF) personnel and 480 Indian Navy personnel. Two IL-76 aircraft, one Talwar class frigate and the anti-submarine warfare capable INS Kadmat corvette are a part of the contingent. The Special Forces Special Forces and the Navy’s elite MARCOS commandos are also a part of the team.
The Russian Federation Armed Forces is represented by approximately 1,000 troops of the 5th Army, as well as marines and ships of the Pacific Fleet and aircraft from the Eastern Military District. Today India is interested in Russian arms more than ever!
The contract for heavy Su-30MKI fighter jets has reached the fourth stage – they are almost completely assembled in India, we supply only individual components. To date, the Indian Air Force has more than 200 aircraft of this type. India & Russia also signed for the supply of 200 multipurpose Ka-226 helicopters. The supply of Mi-17 military transport aircraft also continues and India already has over 200 of these aircraft.
The Indian Navy also has Russian-made Ka-28 anti-submarine warfare helicopters, and last year, during a visit to India by Russian President Vladimir Putin, a memorandum was signed on the delivery of S-400 surface-to-air missile systems. Russia is also modernizing the military equipment of India, as, for example, MiG-29 fighters. They will be replaced soon by the newest MiG-35.
Quite a lot of agreements have been reached regarding the ground forces’ tech also. The main component of the Indian Army is 1.000 units of T-90S tanks. Despite military prosperity, Russia and India do have a number of disagreements that make it difficult to cooperate. The Indian side has increasingly demanded that Russia not only sell weapons to it, but also share technical documentation and industrial secrets.
But according to the analyst there is one problem that seriously hampers cooperation and that is the fact that “Russia, so to speak, pushes India into an alliance with China, although it, on the contrary, needs an alliance against China. These states have enough disagreements: border disputes, the friendship between the PRC and Pakistan and many other factors.
The expert stressed that the two countries have great prospects, but it is necessary to gradually resolve the existing contradictions, by, for example, actively advocating the union of India and China. In the long term, the alliance of Russia, China & India could become the strongest military bloc on the planet.
Sputnik / AA-Magnum Analyst Blog News-Site 2017.