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Russia-Ukraine war: India assesses impact on defence supply from both nations

India's dependence on Russia for military hardware was built over decades
nirban Bhaumik
Last Updated : 18 April 2022, 15:30 IST
Last Updated : 18 April 2022, 15:30 IST
Last Updated : 18 April 2022, 15:30 IST
Last Updated : 18 April 2022, 15:30 IST

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India is assessing the implication of the Russia-Ukraine conflict on its security environment as well as supply of military hardware from both the warring nations.

The assessment of any impact of Russia-Ukraine war is on the agenda, as the Indian Army commanders assembled for a four-day-long conference in New Delhi on Monday. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh is also expected to interact with the commanders during the conclave, which is being led by Chief of Army Staff Gen M M Naravane.

The commanders are expected to assess impact on supply of defence equipment and spares from both Russia and Ukraine and discuss ways to deal with any disruption in supply and services in the wake of the conflict between the two nations, sources told DH on Monday.

India's dependence on Russia for military hardware was built over decades. A 2020 report by the Stimson Centre based in Washington DC estimated that 90 per cent of defence equipment, weapons and platforms presently used by the Indian Army had originated from Russia. Nearly 86 per cent of the defence equipment currently in military service in India had origins in the former Soviet Union nation.

Russia, according to the sources, might not be able to deliver the second unit of the S-400 Triumf air defence missile systems to India on time due to its military operations in Ukraine and the sanctions imposed by the United States and other western nations on it. However, some training equipment and simulator for the second unit have already arrived. Russia had in December 2021 delivered the first of the five S-400s India procured for $5.43 billion.

New Delhi, however, is more worried about disruptions in supply of spares from Ukraine, particularly for some of the tanks and missile systems currently being used by the Indian Army and for gas turbine engines of some of the Indian Navy warships.

The commanders, according to the sources in New Delhi, are expected to review the situation along the India-China Line of Actual Control (LAC), where soldiers of the two nations are still engaged in a stand-off that started two years ago with the communist country’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) amassing large number of troops along the disputed boundary between the two nations, prompting counter-deployment by the Indian Army.

New Delhi has been assessing the possibility of China trying to take the advantage of geopolitical churning triggered by Russia-Ukraine conflict and stepping up its belligerence, not only along the disputed boundary between the two nations in the Himalayas, but also in the South China Sea, the East China Sea and the Taiwan Strait.

The commanders over the next few days will review the Indian Army’s preparedness to respond to any bid by the Chinese PLA, not only along the western sector, but also in the middle and the eastern sector of the long disputed boundary between the two nations.

A spokesperson of the Ministry of Defence said that the senior leadership of the Indian Army would review the operational situation along the active borders during the conference, apart from assessing threats in the entire spectrum of conflict. The commanders would also analyse capability voids to further focus on capability development and operational preparedness plans, added the spokesperson.

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Published 18 April 2022, 15:30 IST

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