JOURNAL OF DEFENCE STUDIES

The Maturing of Russia-India Defence Relations

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  • July 2012
    Volume: 
    6
    Issue: 
    3
    Focus

    Defence cooperation between Russia and India remains strong because of shared security concerns, geopolitical imperatives, and economic benefits. Both countries fear radical Islamic terrorism, share concerns about regional instability in Central Asia, and are uneasy with US military hegemony and the rise of China. Powerful interest groups in both countries also have a common interest in sustaining Russian arms sales to India. Russia’s defence industry needs foreign sales to achieve economies of scale and sustain a manufacturing base that remains excessive for simply meeting Russian domestic demand. India has an enormous legacy of Soviet-based weapons that it needs to modernize, upgrade, and replace. In addition, Russian arms supplies continue to offer a good price-performance trade-off. But recurring problems with some Indian purchases along with along with India’s changing geopolitical orientation could eventually displace Russia’s currently pre-eminent status in India’s foreign military purchases.

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