India to purchase Russian ammo for $1 billion
India will create a joint venture to produce ammunition for Smerch multiple artillery rocket systems. The news was announced by Viktor Komardin, deputy general director of Russia's defense export giant Rosoboronexport.
"We are not only selling - we are also creating productions. We are currently in the works to create a joint venture in India to produce ammunition for Smerch rocket systems," Komardin said. The Indians were thrilled about the initiative, the official added.
Rosoboronexport is currently negotiating the delivery of Mango tank ammo to India. "I do not remember the quantity, but it's going to be a lot," the official told Interfax.
The Russian defense export corporation plans to complete the talks by the end of the summer.
In the beginning of this year, Russia concluded a package of agreements with India in the amount of nearly $1 billion for the delivery of tank and artillery shells, anti-tank missiles of several types and other ammunition for ground troops, the Vedomosti newspaper wrote.
Anatoly Isaykin, the General Director of Rosoboronexport earlier said that the company had concluded new arms contracts totaling $5 billion since the beginning of the year. The new contract with India is one of the largest export contracts, which Rosoboronexport signed in 2011-2012. In addition, a number of large contracts for the delivery of arms for the ground and air defense troops in the amount of more than $1 billion was signed last fall with Algeria.
The Indian army, despite its own ammunition industry may often suffer from shortages in supplies. In the beginning of this year, the issue was considered on the parliament level.
The Indian army needs several thousands of anti-tank missiles of the Russian type. India could not solve the problem alone, experts said.
Such contracts are extremely important for the Russian ammunition industry which suffers from the lack of orders from the Russian Defense Ministry. The ministry has recently decided not to purchase large amounts of ammunition during the upcoming years until expired shells and missiles are decommissioned.