Defence modernization is a never ending objective of the Indian government and towards this end it has entered into defence deals with Russia and other countries, including, Israel, US and France which are listed in this post. The latest Indian defence deals are also listed in this post.
Defence Deals with Russia
Russia is the most important defence partner of India and India has signed the maximum number of defence deals with Russia. Russian manufactured defence systems form the backbone of Indian armed forces. So far India has signed 7 important defence deals with Russia which are listed below.
1. S-400 Triumf Missile System
The S-400 Triumf is a modern long-range surface-to-air missile (MLR SAM) system developed by Russia. The missile system integrates a multi-function radar, autonomous detection and targeting systems, anti-aircraft missile systems, launchers, and command and control centre. It can provide a layered defence as it is capable of firing three types of missiles. India has signed $5.4 billion agreement with Russia during the visit of Russian President in October 2018 to acquire 5 units of S-400 Triumf units, which would be sufficient to meet India’s defence needs.
2. BrahMos Missile
The BrahMos is a medium-range ramjet supersonic cruise missile that can be launched from submarine, ships, aircraft, or land. It is the fastest cruise missile in the world. The missile travels at speeds of Mach 2.8 to 3.0, which is being upgraded to Mach 5.0.The BrahMos has been developed as a joint venture between the DRDO of India and the NPOM of Russia as BrahMos Aerospace via an inter-government agreement.
3. Sukhoi-30MKI Fighter
The first $1.5 billion deal for SU-30 aircrafts was made between India and Russia in 1996 with the first batch of 8 Su-30 delivered by 1997. The Sukhoi Su-30MKI is a twinjet multirole air superiority fighter developed by Russia’s Sukhoi and built under licence by India’s Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) for the Indian Air Force (IAF). A variant of the Sukhoi Su-30, it is a heavy, all-weather, long-range fighter. The Su-30MKI is expected to form the backbone of the Indian Air Force’s fighter fleet to 2020 and beyond.
4. MiG 29K FighterAircraft
MiG-29K is an all-weather carrier-based multirole fighter aircraft being produced by Russian Aircraft Corporation MiG (RAC MiG). India ordered 45 MiG-29K aircraft and equipment worth $2.2 billion in two separate orders — in 2004 and 2010 — from Russia. Since then India has gone on to procure about 89 MiG 29K fighter aircraft from Russia.
5. IL-76 Heavy Lift Transport Aircraft
Known as the ‘Gajraj’ in the air force, the IL 76 (Ilyushin 76) was first ordered in 1983 from Russia and has been India’s main heavy lift aircraft before the arrival of the Boeing C 17 aircraft in 2013. India currently has a fleet of 17 Russian-acquired IL-76 transport aircraft, as well as the seven IL 78 aerial refuelers that it is operating. Indian Air Force (IAF) has also ordered three IL-76MD aircraft fitted with the the Phalcon AEW (airborne early warning) system produced by Elta of Israel.
6. Mil Mi-17 Transport Helicopter
In 2012 India signed a $1.3 billion defence deal with Russia for delivery of 71 Mil Mi-17 military helicopters. The Mil Mi-17 is a Russian helicopter and known as the Mi-8M series in Russian service. It is a medium twin-turbine transport helicopter. There are also armed gunship versions.
7. T-90S Main Battle Tanks
The T-90S ‘Bhishma’ is a main battle tank of the Indian Army and India procured 310 T-90 from Russia in 2001 and deliveries started in 2004. India plans to induce 1,640 T-90 tanks by 2020.
Defence Deals with Israel
1. Barak 8 MR-SAM Missile
Barak 8 also known as LR-SAM or as MR-SAM is an Indian-Israeli surface-to-air missile (SAM), designed to defend against any type of airborne threat including aircraft, helicopters, anti-ship missiles, and UAVs as well as ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and combat jets. Barak 8 was jointly developed by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and India’s Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO).
2. Phalcon AWACS
The Phalcon is an Israeli manufactured Airborne Early Warning, Command and Control (AEWC&C) system. It is one of the most powerful such systems in the world. In January 2004, India and Israel signed a $1.1 billion contract for 3 Phalcon AWACS aircraft, as part of a $1.5 billion tripartite agreement with Russia.
Defence Deals with USA
1. P-8I Poseidon
The Boeing P-8I is a long-range anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft capable of broad-area, maritime and littoral operations. Boeing signed a contract Jan. 1, 2009, to deliver eight long-range maritime reconnaissance and anti-submarine warfare aircraft to the Indian Navy.
2. C-130J Super Hercules
The Lockheed Martin C-130J Super Hercules is a four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft. The Indian Air Force purchased six C-130J-30s in early 2008 at a cost of up to US$1.059 billion for its special operations forces in a package deal with the US government under its Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program.
3. C-17 Globemaster III
The Boeing C-17 Globemaster III is a large military transport aircraft. In June 2009, the Indian Air Force (IAF) selected the C-17 for its Very Heavy Lift Transport Aircraft requirement to replace several types of transport aircraft. The C-17s are based at Hindon Air Force Station and are operated by No. 81 Squadron IAF Skylords.
4. Apache AH-64 Attack Helicopters
In July 2018 India signed a $930 million deal to acquire six AH-64E Apache attack helicopters from USA. The AH-64 Apache is the world’s most advanced multi-role combat helicopter manufactured by Boeing. The Apache will be the first pure attack helicopter in India’s possession.
5. Chinook CH-47 Helicopters
India signed a $2.5 billion deal with USA in 2018 to acquire 15 Chinook and 22 Apache for the Armed forces. The Boeing CH-47 Chinook helicopter transports troops, artillery, supplies and equipment to the battlefield. It is suited for mountain operations, the Chinook is highly maneuverable and can get in and out of tight valleys.
Defence Deals with France
1. Rafale Multirole Combat Fighter
In 2016 India entered into a $9.04 billion (7.8 billion Euros) defence deal with France to acquire 36 off-the-shelf Dassault Rafale twin-engine fighters. The Rafale is a twin-jet combat aircraft capable of carrying out a wide range of short and long-range missions, including ground and sea attacks, reconnaissance, high-accuracy strikes and nuclear strike deterrence.
2. Mirage 2000 Fighter Jet
The Dassault Mirage 2000 is a French multirole, single-engine fourth-generation jet fighter manufactured by Dassault Aviation. The original Mirage 2000 entered service into the Indian Air Force way back in 1985. In 2011 the India government cleared a $2.4 billion deal with France for upgrading India’s Mirage-2000 combat planes.
3. Scorpene-class Submarine
In 2005 India and France entered into a $3.75 billion defence agreement to build 6 Scorpene-class submarines under transfer of technology agreement. The submarines are being built by Mazgaon Dock Limited (MDL) in Mumbai. Scorpene is a conventional powered submarine weighing 1,500 tonnes and can go up to depths of 300m. It is built by DCNS of France.