Sat, Dec 3, 2016 | updated 07:59 AM IST

India must engage with Russia to support its weapons system: Expert

Updated: Oct 16, 2016 14:08 IST

New India [India], Oct. 16 (ANI): Noting the importance of Russian weapons that play a dominant part in the Indian defence system, former diplomat and scholar at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, Lt. General (Retired) V.K. Saxena has said 97 percent of the Indian Air Force's weapons are Russian oriented and added that India needs to continuously engage with its 'strategic partner' to provide support for its weapons.

The comments came in the backdrop of India and Russia signing pacts on purchase of four naval frigates, joint production of two hundred Kamov-226T helicopters and procurement of S-400 Air Defence System.

S-400 is an anti missile system which has the capacity to strike targets at a range between 20 to 400km.

Describing the importance of S-400, the former director general of Army Air Defence said "When this system gets installed, it will have a large area of defence mechanism put in place and would be able to cover government bases, defence bases, oil refineries and other vulnerable positions. Moreover it will also shield us from nuclear missiles."

He said the production of the S-400 air defence system accommodates Make in India initiative.

"S-400 supports our Make in India initiative. Reliance Defence and Almas-Antei are jointly producing this. Under the initiate its parts will be produced in India. Hence, these defence deals with Russia also accommodates the Make in India initiative," he said.

India and Russia on Saturday signed 16 agreements and three announcements in a number of fields including infrastructure, defence, ship building, science and technology and railways.

The agreements were signed in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin during the India Russia Annual Bilateral Summit in Goa.

In a joint statement with Putin, Prime Minister Modi said the agreements on manufacturing of Kamov-226T helicopters, construction of frigates, and acquisition and building of other defence platforms are in synergy with India's technology and security priorities. (ANI)