Amid one of the longest face-offs with China, India has requested that Russia deliver Igla S anti-air missiles, assault rifles, and ammunition for various Russian-made systems under the emergency purchase route, a report by the Economic Times suggests.
The development comes during Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh's three-day visit to Russia for the Victory Day parade. The minister is believed to have requested a quick delivery of missiles and ammunition on urgent basis, too.
“All our proposals have received positive responses from the Russian side. I am fully satisfied with my discussions", Rajnath Singh said on Tuesday after a meeting with Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yury Borisov in Moscow.
The minister emphasised that Russia had assured him that ongoing contracts will be maintained and “not just maintained, in a number of cases will be taken forward in a shorter time”.
The emergency procurement allows the Indian armed forces to purchase $66.17 million worth of items.
Igla-S is a man-portable infrared homing surface-to-air missile defence system manufactured by research and production corporation Konstruktorskoye Byuro Mashynostroyeniya (KBM). The system has a range of around five kilometres, intended to target various types approaching and receding aircraft and unmanned aerial vehicles round-the-clock when they are visually observed against clutter background and in an infrared countermeasure environment.
Sources said that the two sides also discussed a project to manufacture Kalashnikov rifles at a factory in India's Amethi under a joint venture approach.
The Indian Air Force (IAF) also reportedly decided to purchase 33 fighter jets, including 21 MiG-29s and 12 Su-30MKIs, from Russia under an emergency clause.
The expedited emergency purchases by India come amid a border standoff with China that began in the last week of April and escalated last week with 20 Indian soldiers being killed in a violent face-off in the Galwan Valley. Satellite images on 22 June revealed massive deployments of troops, heavy machinery, and artillery units in the plains of Depsang of northern Ladakh.