Home/ News / India/  Russia falls short of delivering arms to India amid Ukraine war, informs IAF

Indian Air Force (IAF) official told the Indian parliamentary committee that Russia had been unable to honour commitments in delivering vital defense supplies owing to the ongoing war with Ukraine, according to a report on CNN

This can potentially pose a threat to the relationship between India and Moscow, India's largest defense supplier. The statement comes even as Moscow attempts to ramp up weapons production. 

Moscow is India's largest source of defense supply, and Delhi has been worried that this would be affected owing to the war with Ukraine that has been going on since February 2022. 

The IAF statement is the first official confirmation of such shortfalls, reports Reuters. An IAF representative told the panel that Russia had planned a "major delivery" this year that will not take place.

The biggest ongoing delivery is the S-400 Triumf air defence system units India bought in 2018 for $5.4 billion. Three of these systems have been delivered and two more are awaited, according to Reuters

IAF also depends on Russia for spares for its Su-30MKI and MiG-29 fighter jets, the mainstay of the service branch, according to Reuters.

The IAF also informed the parliamentary panel that the Russia-Ukraine war affected its supplies so much that it slashed its projected capital expenditure on modernisation for the financial year ending March 31, 2024, by nearly a third compared to the previous fiscal year.

The air force had projected a capital expenditure of 853 billion rupees ($10.38 billion) for fiscal 2022-23 and cut it to 588 billion rupees ($7.15 billion) in the national budget presented in February.

Russia is the world’s second-largest arms exporter, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). Russia accounted for $8.5 billion of the $18.3 billion India has spent on arms imports since 2017, according to the latest data from the SIPRI.

Earlier this month, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a large-scale effort to build up capacity to produce more weapons for the war in a move he said was “urgently needed."

Putin’s order also followed repeated complaints by Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin that his mercenaries were not receiving sufficient munitions in their prolonged battle for the eastern city of Bakhmut.

This also comes at a time when India has been looking to reduce its dependence on Moscow for delivering defense weapons. India has been looking west for its defense demands- France, the United States and Israel.

Further, the Narendra Modi-led government has also emphasised on manufacturing defense weapons in the country itself under the Atmanirbhar Bharat push. 

(With inputs from Reuters)


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Updated: 26 Mar 2023, 03:55 PM IST
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