According to a military expert, retired Major General of the Andiya Army P.K. Sehgal, Russian weapons are superior to Western ones in their simplicity, cost and reliability.
“The fact is that our troops are used to Russian weapons systems. They are much cheaper than the equivalent from the Western world. Russian weapons are much more reliable and do not fail at the last minute. Western weapons are too sophisticated and often let us down, and India has been confidently exploiting Russian weapons for the past six decades,” Sehgal said.
From 2017 to 2021, India spent almost half of its defense budget on arms purchases from Russia, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). This is less than from 2012 to 2016 – at that time, up to 69 percent of the defense budget of this state was spent on weapons from the northern country.
One of the expensive purchases was the S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems. The supply contract was concluded in 2018. As it became known earlier, five regimental kits will cost Delhi 5.43 billion dollars. India became the third foreign buyer of these complexes after China and Turkey
Interests fall not only on Russian equipment, but in parallel with Russian equipment, New Delhi is interested in weapons from France, the USA and Israel. France recently delivered 32 Dassault Rafale jet fighters, 15 Mirage combat aircraft and three Scorpene submarines to India. And the value of defense trade between India and the US has risen from $200 million in 2000 to $6.2 billion by 2019. Purchases include MQ-9A Reaper drones, P8-I Poseidon long-range maritime patrol aircraft and Sikorsky MH-60R multipurpose helicopters.
In early February of this year, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that the problem with importing weapons is that they are obsolete by the time they enter the army. He believes that the solution to this issue will be the programs “Self-sufficient India” and “Made in India”, aimed at developing production in the country itself.