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Moscow announces defense deals with India ahead of Modi visit

State corporation Rostec has said Russia will start manufacturing ‘Mango’ missiles for Indian army’s T-72 and T-90 tanks locally

Rosoboronexport, Russia’s defense-export agency and part of state-owned Rostec defense corporation, has arranged for the production in India of 3VBM17 ‘Mango’ rounds with armor-piercing sub-caliber shells. The project is being implemented under New Delhi’s ‘Make In India’ initiative, which aims to increase the country’s self-sufficiency. 

The 125-mm projectiles are designed for firing from the cannons of the T-72 and T-90 tanks deployed by India’s military. These munitions are intended to target armored vehicles with composite protection, Rostec said. Its general director Sergey Chemezov said that “To ensure the highest degree of localization in the production of the Mango rounds, plans are underway to establish the production of propellants in India.”

According to Chemezov, Rostec has significant experience in industrial partnerships with friendly countries. “Such partnerships enable the importing country to develop its production capabilities – this is a competitive advantage for Rostec as one of the leading suppliers of defense solutions,” an official statement quoted the director as saying. 

Russia and India engage in several such projects, according to defense officials. This includes the licensed production of T-90 tanks, Su-30MKI fighters and other weapons systems. 

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According to Alexander Mikheev, head of Rosoboronexport, the facility for manufacturing Mango tank rounds in India has been set up using the capabilities of an Indian defense company. “This enables the Indian side to master the transferred technology and organize production,” he noted.

In a separate statement on Thursday, Rostec announced that another Indo-Russian joint venture has produced and delivered 35,000 AK-203 Kalashnikov rifles to the Indian Ministry of Defense. The AK-203s are produced in India using exclusive Russian technologies and certified equipment, the corporation noted.

The joint venture was co-founded by Rosoboronexport and Kalashnikov Concern, part of the Rostec State Corporation, on the Russian side and, on the Indian side, by several state defense companies. The manufacturing has been established in Korwa Ordnance Factory in Amethi, Uttar Pradesh. “The Indo-Russian joint venture is a vivid example of the fruitful cooperation between our countries in the defense sector,” Mikheev said. 

READ MORE: Brothers in arms: Russian weapons are key for India’s self-reliance

Russia remains the largest defense supplier to India, though the South Asian nation has been diversifying its sources of military imports and technological partnerships, according to Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). BrahMos missiles, co-developed by India and Russia, have emerged as a mainstay  in the Indian armed forces as well as a key military export item for New Delhi.

Early this year, a batch of BrahMos missiles worth $375 million was supplied to the Philippines. Other nations – including Thailand, Vietnam, Saudi Arabia, and Indonesia – have reportedly expressed interest in acquiring the supersonic cruise missiles.

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July 05, 2024 at 06:10PM

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