Russia Hints At Ammo Production Facility in India

India’s long­stand­ing Defence part­ner Rus­sia has decid­ed greater pen­e­tra­tion into the Indi­an Defence mar­ket by reveal­ing that it will cre­ate a licensed pro­duc­tion facil­i­ty for tanks and rock­et artillery ammu­ni­tions in the coun­try.

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A pro­duc­tion facil­i­ty to man­u­fac­ture pro­jec­tiles for Smerch mul­ti-bar­rel mobile rock­et launch­ers is on the cards. In addi­tion, Rus­sia is already set to deliv­er ammu­ni­tion, includ­ing tank and artillery shells, worth $1 bil­lion to India this year.

Speak­ing at a Defence Show on Machine-Build­ing Tech­nolo­gies in Moscow, top Rosoboroex­port offi­cials have indi­cat­ed that Rus­sia will increase its pres­ence in India by set­ting up a pro­duc­tion facil­i­ty besides con­tin­u­ing with Defence exports to India. Appar­ent­ly, Rus­sia has sealed the first round of nego­ti­a­tions on the deliv­ery of 3UBK20 (Man­go) tank pro­jec­tiles. The estab­lish­ment of a joint ven­ture for licensed pro­duc­tion of the pro­jec­tiles will take place this week in India.

Cur­rent­ly, the Indi­an Army relies heav­i­ly on the Smerch MRBLs which can fire 12 rock­ets at once and hit tar­gets up to 70 kilo­me­tres along with the Russ­ian-ori­gin Grad 122mm rock­et sys­tems and indige­nous Pina­ka MRBL. The rock­ets are pow­ered by sol­id fuel engine and are 7.6 metres long. The rock­ets weigh 800 kilo­grams, includ­ing a 100 kilo­gram war­head. Its range can be extend­ed to 90 kilo­me­ters, and it is capa­ble of launch­ing sur­face-to-sur­face and sur­face-to-air mis­siles. India has 42 Smerch launch­ers.

Mean­while, Rus­sia is also ful­fill­ing the $ 1 bil­lion worth of con­tracts signed ear­li­er this year for sup­ply of tank and artillery pro­jec­tiles, anti-tank rock­ets and oth­er ammu­ni­tions for land forces. The Indi­an army cur­rent­ly lacks sev­er­al thou­sand anti-tank mis­siles of Russ­ian types alone. As of now, the pub­lic and pri­vate sec­tor Defence firms in India can­not deliv­er the require­ment posed by the Indi­an Army.

The $ 1 bil­lion con­tract with India is one of the largest export con­tacts which Rosoboronex­port con­clud­ed in 2011–2012. In fact, accord­ing to Cen­tre for Analy­sis of World Arms Trade (CAWAT), Russia’s sup­ply of arms and ammu­ni­tion to India will be worth $ 7.7 bil­lion which is about 80 per cent of India’s arms imports.

Among the many deliv­er­ies expect­ed this year, the trans­fer of the refur­bished Vikra­ma­ditya air­craft car­ri­er to India by end of 2012 will be the top project worth $ 2.34 bil­lion. Its mod­ern­iza­tion cost has been adjust­ed a few times and now totals $2.34 bil­lion. Fol­low­ing this, the sec­ond-biggest deliv­ery is the planned sup­ply of two frigates worth an esti­mat­ed $1 bil­lion.

Accord­ing to CAWAT, the mil­i­tary sup­plies to India from Rus­sia will include about 21 Su-30M­KI fight­ers under a licensed assem­bly con­tract signed in year 2000, 12 Su-30M­KI fight­ers under a 2007 con­tract, 40 Mi-17V‑5 heli­copters and nine ship­board MiG-29K/KUB fight­ers under the orig­i­nal arms sup­ply sched­ule.

Besides, India and Rus­sia will con­tin­ue the pro­grammes to upgrade MiG-29 fight­ers, BPA Tu-142 air­craft, and Mi-17 heli­copters, repair type 877EKM diesel-elec­tric sub­marines, and sup­ply Ka-31 heli­copters, AL-55 and TRDD-50MT engines, Mi-17 flight sim­u­la­tor train­ing sys­tems, and Club‑C anti-ship mis­sile launch­ers.


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