India Urges Russia to Deliver Igla-S Missile System ASAP Amid Border Tensions, Media Claims
12:06 GMT 25.06.2020
New Delhi (Sputnik): Media outlets earlier reported that Indian authorities have decided to "pressure" Russia into expediting the delivery of its S-400 air defence missile system to New Delhi amid the latter's ongoing border face-off with China.
Amid one of the longest face-offs with China, India has requested that Russia deliver Igla S anti-air missiles, assault rifles, and ammunition for various Russian-made systems under the emergency purchase route, a report by the Economic Times suggests.
The development comes during Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh's three-day visit to Russia for the Victory Day parade. The minister is believed to have requested a quick delivery of missiles and ammunition on urgent basis, too.
"All our proposals have received positive responses from the Russian side. I am fully satisfied with my discussions", Rajnath Singh said on Tuesday after a meeting with Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yury Borisov in Moscow.
The minister emphasised that Russia had assured him that ongoing contracts will be maintained and "not just maintained, in a number of cases will be taken forward in a shorter time".
The emergency procurement allows the Indian armed forces to purchase $66.17 million worth of items.
Igla-S is a man-portable infrared homing surface-to-air missile defence system manufactured by research and production corporation Konstruktorskoye Byuro Mashynostroyeniya (KBM). The system has a range of around five kilometres, intended to target various types approaching and receding aircraft and unmanned aerial vehicles round-the-clock when they are visually observed against clutter background and in an infrared countermeasure environment.
The system was declared the winner of the Indian Army's Very Short Range Air Defence System (VSHORADS) program,me in 2018, beating out Saab's RBS 70NG and MBDA's Mistral. The contract negotiation to purchase around 5,137 such systems are underway between the two countries.
Sources said that the two sides also discussed a project to manufacture Kalashnikov rifles at a factory in India's Amethi under a joint venture approach.
The Indian Air Force (IAF) also reportedly decided to purchase 33 fighter jets, including 21 MiG-29s and 12 Su-30MKIs, from Russia under an emergency clause.
The expedited emergency purchases by India come amid a border standoff with China that began in the last week of April and escalated last week with 20 Indian soldiers being killed in a violent face-off in the Galwan Valley. Satellite images on 22 June revealed massive deployments of troops, heavy machinery, and artillery units in the plains of Depsang of northern Ladakh.
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