Russia is considering moving part of its state-of-the-art air defense system’s production to India, the head of Russian state-run corporation Rostec said. India is set to procure five S-400s batteries within a $5.4bn deal.
Rostec head Sergey Chemezov confirmed reports that a similar understanding already exists with Turkey, and that it’s “quite possible” for Ankara to produce “certain components” of the system, but refused to specify which.
He told Russian broadcaster RBK that discussions are underway on “the localization [of S-400 production] with India as well.”
The CEO noted that India has already obtained licenses to manufacture an array of Russian military hardware, including Su-30 fighter jets and T-90 tanks. Moscow has enjoyed close military cooperation with India, which has been one of its biggest customers in the arms trade for decades. Some weapons, such as the BrahMos cruise missile, are the product of joint research and development efforts by Russian and Indian engineers.
“We have developed the BrahMos missiles together with them [India], on their territory, together with their scientists,” Chemezov said.
India inked a $5.4bn deal with Russia to purchase five batteries of S-400 air defense systems in October after lengthy negotiations that saw Washington attempt to pressure New Delhi into canceling the contract. However, New Delhi – much like Ankara, another recipient of the S-400 complexes – did not cave in, sending an advance payment to Russia in late August.
In addition to the S-400s, India will be buying 21 MIG-29s fighter jets from Russia.
Chemezov said the US sanctions have not negatively impacted Russian arms sales, noting that it has been several years since Moscow ditched the US dollar for mutual settlements, which are now made in the national currencies.
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