On the side-lines of the 8th BRICS meeting, India and Russia signed a massive defence deal in Goa on Saturday. Modi and Vladimir Putin signed on 16 agreements which are going to aid India in increasing its defence and energy capabilities. Four of these agreements are being considered massively critical, owing to South Asia becoming a politically unstable region as the tension between India and Pakistan continues to grow. With Pakistan’s continuous denial of terror camps on its lands (while evidently aiding and shielding them), Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Foreign Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj have been fairly successful in isolating Pakistan. In a situation such as this, the deal between India and Russia is being considered as a wise long term strategy.
The most critical of these 16 agreements, is the purchase of S-400, anti-missile defence system, which is state of the art, and is processed by only one other country than Russia, China. Russia uses it to shield Moscow. It is interesting to note that India has been developing an indigenous anti-ballistic missile system for quite a few years, and recent rumours state it is ready to be commissioned by 2018. This Russian made anti-missile system however, will be delivered by 2020. It has been tested and proved its capabilities extraordinarily in the field and will definitely prove to be an asset. It can detect all aircraft (even those which escape the radar), drones and missiles in the range of 400 kilometres. While the range is not so large, the accuracy and success rates are quite high. It’s been expected to be used as a shield for high priority military bases or government buildings or maybe New Delhi itself. Also it is being rumoured to be commissioned at the borders of India-Pakistan (3 of them) and India-China (2 of them), as five of these systems are purchased.
Secondly, an agreement has been signed, according to which Russia will aid India in upgrading the Brahmos Missiles. This means, the indigenous Brahmos missiles will now be upgraded with Russian technology. This could mean, a longer range, better guidance and seeking systems as well easier launch.
India has also procured a helicopter deal, the Russian Kamov Ka-226T light utility helicopters. These helicopters will replace India’s old helicopters which are still in service. This has been designed to work at high altitudes. India will initially import these light machines, and later on manufacture it, under the Make in India strategy. Similarly, we will be acquiring 2 Russian frigates, known as Admiral Grigorovich-class (Project 11356) guided-missile stealth frigates, and 2 more will be manufactured here in India. Modi’s call for becoming an exporter instead of an importer, seems to be taking place sooner than we thought.
Other socio-economic deals were also signed, most important of which was the acquiring of Essar Oil, by a group led by Rosneft, and with it a 400,000 barrels-per-day refinery at Vadinar for $12.9 billion. This deal makes the largest part of the ₹43,000 crore. Also, Russia intends on lending an arm in building nuclear plants (as many as 2p in the coming years) in South India, saying the third largest economy should not suffer from power shortages.
This will have a major impact in world politics and it will be interesting to see what Americans reaction to these deals would be. Will they offer better deals to make sure democracies align together? With a better government, countries are suddenly seeing an important ally in India.
These deals signify a major strategic win for the Modi government. The Defence Minister, the Foreign Affairs Minister and Modi should be accredited for this diplomatic shift in global deals where both America and Russia are looking to make India an important ally. Modi never retorted once to criticism on foreign travels. Opposition, media and social media bashed Modi for his every visit, especially the ones to the USA. He did not reply using words, but actions. The isolation of Pakistan an 16 agreements with Russia are testimonials to it.
Modi haters started criticizing the Modi’s foreign policies as soon as Russian military landed for joint military exercise in Pakistan. But while they were imagining a dramatic shift in alignment, India struck this sweet deal with Russia, which was actually under talks and negotiations for quite some time.
It is heartening to see the rising stature of India under the Modi government, the way Russia and USA are going out of the way to woo us just proves that. India always had terrific potentials but its growth was retarded by corrupt leadership. It is absolutely thrilling to have a government which believes in working and which knows how to strike deals with other countries.