MOSCOW (Russia): Russia signed a contract to supply Igla-S hand-held anti-aircraft missiles to India and has allowed the production of the Igla under license, Reuters reported citing Russian news agency TASS.
The Igla-S is a man-portable air defense system (MANPADS) that can be fired by an individual or crew to bring down an enemy aircraft.
Alexander Mikheyev, head of the state arms exporter Rosoboronexport, said, “We have already signed the corresponding document and now, together with an Indian private company, we are organising the production of Igla-S MANPADS in India,” Reuters reported quoting TASS.
Notably, Russia continues to remain India’s largest arms supplier. However, Russia’s reputation of its army and weaponry has been damaged from the war in Ukraine, where Russia has suffered numerous setbacks at the hands of a smaller but highly motivated and Western-equipped military.
The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) stated that Russia accounted for 45 per cent of India’s arms imports between 2018 and 2022, with France providing 29 per cent and the United States 11 per cent.
Meanwhile, Mikheyev earlier said, “Rosoboronexport is working with Indian private and public enterprises to organise joint production of aviation weapons and integrate them into the existing aviation fleet in India”, reported Russia’s RIA news agency.
However, no such details were provided about which Indian companies would be involved or when potential production would start, reported Reuters, citing TASS.
Additionally, Mikheyev said Rosoboronexport and Indian partners have provided the Indian Defence Ministry with Su-30MKI fighter jets, tanks, armoured vehicles and shells.
Moreover, at the beginning of this year, India and Russia also began the joint production of AK-203 Kalashnikov assault rifles. (ANI)