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Russia, India to sign MASSIVE weapons deal

India is adamant in its desire to acquire Russia’s famous S-400 air defense system.

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Russia still retains a strong presence in the Indian arms market. Delhi has worked with Moscow to develop the BrahMos supersonic anti-ship and land-attack cruise missile. India also fields Russia’s S-300 air-defense system, and its INS Vikramaditya aircraft carrier is made in Russia and uses Russian aircraft.

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The list of Russian weapons used by the Indian military is very long. The countries have an almost 60-year history of military cooperation, but in recent years New Delhi has been shifting to purchases of US-produced weapons. Moscow has lost a few tenders to the United States and France.

Now it looks like the situation is going to change and Russia will get back on its feet after some breakthrough agreements.

India is finalizing negotiations with Russia to purchase 48 additional Mi-17-V5 utility helicopters.  According to Jane’s, the deal is likely to be signed in early October during Russian President Putin’s visit to Delhi. The proposed deal also includes an offset obligation that requires all vendors to invest 30% of the overall contractual value of all military purchases over $290 million into India’s defense budget.

The additional Mi-17-V5s are meant to supplement the 151 similar platforms that India has already acquired. All in all, more than 400 Russian-made rotary wing aircraft are operating in India. It’s not known as yet whether the Mi-17-V5s will be weaponized.

Each Indian Mi-17V-5 is equipped with a complex navigation and KNEI-8 avionics suite. According to the Indian Express, the multitude of indicators for various information systems has been replaced with four multifunction displays. The KNEI-8 also helps reduce pre-flight inspection time.

Russian Mi-17V-5 helicopter.

The thick-skinned Mi-17-V5 can operate in adverse weather, day or night, in any climate conditions, carrying out transport/assault missions simultaneously. Its heavy armor protection is an advantage.

In 2013, a Syrian Mi-17 was hit by an air-to-air missile launched by a Turkish fighter.  The chopper survived long enough to allow its pilots to bail out over friendly territory and thus avoid capture.

With a maximum takeoff weight of 13,000 kg., it can carry up to 36 heavily armed troops or 4,000 kg. of cargo inside the cabin, with an additional 4,500-kg. payload attached on an external sling.  Two TV3-117BM or VK-2500 turbo-shaft engines with a maximum power of either 2,100 hp or 2,700 hp respectively provide for a greater service/hovering ceiling and improved performance at high altitudes in hot weather.

The modern, powerful engines significantly expand the helicopter’s abilities to transport heavy and bulky loads, especially in the Indian highlands and mountains. The copter can be armed with Shturm-V anti-tank missiles, S-8 rockets, and several machine guns of various calibers for engaging personnel armored vehicles, ground sites, and other fixed and movable targets. Its maximum speed is 250 km/h and standard range is 580 km. That range can be extended to 1,065 km. when fitted with two auxiliary fuel tanks.  Its maximum altitude is 6,000 m.

The US paid Russia $1 billion to supply the Afghan security forces with the Mi-17s. The Afghan air force fliers preferred them to the American rotary-wing aircraft.  The last batch was delivered in 2014.

Before 2014, India had studied the possibility of buying 12 Italian AgustaWestland AW101 luxury helicopters for use by its VIPs, but the deal was scrapped amidst corruption scandals. As a result, those VIPs got Russian Mi-17-V5s.

In December, Delhi and Moscow agreed to produce 200 Russian light multipurpose Ka-226T helicopters in India. The deal includes maintenance, operation, the repair of the helicopters, and technical support.

It should be noted that the news about the Mi-17-V5 deal appeared only hours after the US Congress announced that both the House and Senate had agreed on the draft National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for fiscal year 2019.

That legislation allows waivers under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) for India, Vietnam, and Indonesia (among other countries purchasing Russian military equipment) on the condition that they take steps to wean themselves off of those products. Turkey is not among those exempt from this “punishment.”

India is adamant in its desire to acquire Russia’s famous S-400 air defense system. This is an issue for the United States. India can pay billions for the weapons it needs, but buying the system has nothing to do with the NDAA provision to offer waivers to those who are trying to reduce and eventually end their purchases of Russian-made systems. Delhi never said it had any such intention.

India’s Defense Minister Nirmala Sitharaman believes that “CAATSA cannot impact the India-Russia defense cooperation.”  The last US-Indian meeting on July 6 in the “2+2” format (between the foreign and defense chiefs) was unilaterally canceled by the US. If CAATSA creates bumps in the road for the US-India relationship, Washington will lose a lucrative market and an important partner, while gaining nothing in return.

Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Morocco are currently negotiating with Russia over the purchase of the S-400. Will they be also be sanctioned under CAATSA, thus making Iran quite happy? What about Algeria, which has bought half of all the Russian weapons sold in Africa and has a growing interest in more purchases? Will the US sanction the Philippines, its old ally, for buying grenade launchers from Rosoboronexport?

The NDAA 2019 bill does not include the United States in the list of countries to be granted waivers. This means the US itself must be sanctioned for violating CAATSA by continuing to buy Russian RD-180 and RD-181 rocket engines that the United Launch Alliance can’t do without in order to power the Atlas 5 rocket used for US government launches. This is a strong argument that could be used by those who come under US attack for buying weapons and technology from Russia.

Via Strategic Culture

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thomas malthausJohn VuAM Hants Recent comment authors
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thomas malthaus
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thomas malthaus

Once the S-400 are acquired, China and Pakistan will prove less confrontational.

The Russia-China relationship could prove interesting in that China is probably trying to acquire the same system.. May already have it.

Perhaps another poster is more aware than me.

John Vu
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John Vu

Exporting gray matter to America and importing weapons from Russia (USSR): That’s what you call nonalignment.

AM Hants
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India, partner of Russia in both BRICS and the SCO. Soon there will be nobody left for the US to trade with, if they carry on sanctioning everybody that trades with other nations. Perhaps they should focus on making things that actually work, are cost effective, plus come in on time and on budget.

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Peace on Korean Peninsula within reach, if only Trump can remove Pompeo & Bolton (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 152.

Alex Christoforou

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RT CrossTalk host Peter Lavelle and The Duran’s Alex Christoforou discuss the results of the Putin-Kim summit in Vladivostok, Russia, aimed at boosting bilateral ties between the two neighboring countries, as well as working to contribute to a final peace settlement on the Korean peninsula.

Putin’s meeting with Kim may prove to be a pivotal diplomatic moment, as North Korea continues to work towards normalizing ties with the U.S. amidst ongoing denuclearization talks with the Trump White House.

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Via the BBC…

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said North Korean leader Kim Jong-un needs international security guarantees if he is to end his nuclear programme.

Such guarantees would need to be offered within a multinational framework, he added, following talks near Vladivostok in Russia’s far east.

Mr Kim praised the summit as a “very meaningful one-on-one exchange”.

Mr Putin said North Korea’s leader was “fairly open” and had “talked freely on all issues that were on the agenda”.

The meeting followed the breakdown of talks between the US and North Korea in February, when Mr Kim met US President Donald Trump in the Vietnamese capital Hanoi.

Those talks reportedly stalled over North Korea’s demand for full economic sanctions relief in return for some denuclearisation commitments – a deal the US was not willing to make.

Speaking after the talks on Thursday, Mr Putin said he wanted to see full denuclearisation on the Korean peninsula.

But he said this could only be achieved through respect for international law.

“We need to restore the power of international law, to return to a state where international law, not the law of the strongest, determines the situation in the world,” he said.

Mr Kim greeted Russian officials warmly when he arrived in Russia on Wednesday.

The North Korean leader was entertained by a brass band in Vladivostok before he got inside a car flanked by bodyguards, who – in now familiar scenes – jogged alongside the vehicle as it departed.

What do we know about the summit?

According to the Russian presidential spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, the Kremlin believes the six-party talks on North Korea, which are currently stalled, are the only efficient way of addressing the issue of nuclear weapons on the peninsula.

Those talks, which began in 2003, involve the two Koreas as well as China, Japan, Russia and the US.

“There are no other efficient international mechanisms at the moment,” Mr Peskov told reporters on Wednesday.

“But, on the other hand, efforts are being made by other countries. Here all efforts merit support as long as they really aim at de-nuclearisation and resolving the problem of the two Koreas.”

What do both sides want?

This visit is being widely viewed as an opportunity for North Korea to show it has powerful allies following the breakdown of the talks with the US in February.

The country has blamed US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for the collapse of the Hanoi summit. Earlier this month North Korea demanded that Mr Pompeo be removed from nuclear talks, accusing him of “talking nonsense” and asking for someone “more careful” to replace him.

The summit is also an opportunity for Pyongyang to show that its economic future does not depend solely on the US. Mr Kim may try to put pressure on Moscow to ease sanctions.

Analysts say the summit is an opportunity for Russia to show that it is an important player on the Korean peninsula.

President Putin has been eager to meet the North Korean leader for quite some time. Yet amid the two Trump-Kim summits, the Kremlin has been somewhat sidelined.

Russia, like the US and China, is uncomfortable with North Korea being a nuclear state.

How close are Russia and North Korea?

During the Cold War, the Soviet Union (of which Russia is the main successor state) maintained close military and trade links with its communist ally, North Korea, for ideological and strategic reasons.

After the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, trade links with post-communist Russia shrank and North Korea leaned towards China as its main ally.

Under President Putin, Russia recovered economically and in 2014 he wrote off most of North Korea’s Soviet-era debt in a major goodwill gesture.

While it is arguable how much leverage Russia has with the North today, the communist state still regards it as one of the least hostile foreign powers.

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Putin meets Kim for the first time (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 151.

Alex Christoforou

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris take a look at the historic meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in the city of Vladivostok in the Russian Far East.

The meeting marks the first ever summit between the two leaders.

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Via RT…

Leaders of Russia and North Korea sat down for a historic summit in Vladivostok, expressing hope it will revive the peace process in the Korean Peninsula and talks on normalizing relations with the US.

The summit on Russky Island, just off Vladivostok, started a little late because President Vladimir Putin’s flight was delayed. North Korean leader Kim Jong-un had made the trip by train, arriving on Wednesday.

In brief public remarks before the talks, the two leaders expressed hope the summit will help move forward the reconciliation process in the Korean Peninsula. Putin welcomed Kim’s contributions to “normalizing relations” with the US and opening a dialogue with South Korea.

Kim said he hoped the Vladivostok summit would be a “milestone” in the talks about denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula, but also build upon “traditionally friendly ties” between Russia and North Korea.

The North Korean leader also made a point of thanking Putin for flying all the way to Vladivostok for the meeting. The Far East Russian city is only 129 kilometers from the border with North Korea.

The historic summit takes place less than two months after Kim’s second summit with US President Donald Trump in Hanoi fell apart without a breakthrough on denuclearization. The US rejected North Korea’s request for partial sanctions relief in return for moves to dismantle nuclear and missile programs; Washington insists on full disarmament before any sanctions are removed.

Denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula is the main subject of the Kim-Putin summit, but there will also be talks about bilateral relations, trade, and humanitarian aid. The first one-on-one meeting is scheduled to last about an hour, followed by further consultations involving other government officials.

Following the summit, Putin is scheduled to visit China.

 

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Kim And Putin: Changing The State Of The Board In Korea

The future of Korea could be decided by these two men today.

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Authored by Tom Luongo:


Today is a big day for Korea. The first face-to-face summit of Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un takes place.

At the same time the 2nd annual Belt and Road Forum kicks off in Beijing.

This meeting between Putin and Kim has been in the works for a while but rumors of it only surfaced last week. But don’t let the idea that this was put together at the last minute fool you.

It wasn’t.

The future of Korea could be decided by these two men today.

I know that sounds bold. But hear me out.

And while no one seems to think this meeting is important or that anything of substance will come from it I do. It is exactly the kind of surprise that Putin loves to spring on the world without notice and by doing so change the board state of geopolitics.

  • Russia’s entrance into Syria in 2015, two days after Putin’s historic speech at the U.N. General Assembly
  • 2018’s State of the Union address where he announced hypersonic missiles, embarrassing the U.S. Militiary-Industrial Complex which accelerated the Bolton Doctrine of subjugating the world
  • Flying 2 TU-160 nuclear-armed bombers to Venezuela, creating panic in D.C. leading to the ham-fisted regime change operations there.
  • Nationalization of Yukos.
  • The operation to secure Crimea from U.S. invasion by marines aboard the U.S.S Donald Cook during the Ukrainian uprising against Viktor Yanukovich.

Both Putin and Chinese Premier Xi Jinping are angry at the breakdown of the talks in Hanoi back in February. It was clear that everyone expected that meeting to be a rubber stamp on a deal already agreed to by all parties involved.

In fact the two meetings between Kim and Trump were only possible because Trump convinced them of his sincerity to resolve the ‘denuclearization’ of North Korea which would clear a path to rapid reunification.

It’s why they went along with the U.S.’s increased sanctions on North Korea as administered through the U.N. in 2017.

That John Bolton and Mike Pompeo destroyed those talks and Trump was unwilling or unable (who cares at this point, frankly, useless piece of crap that he is) to stop them embarrassed and betrayed them.

They are now done with Trump.

He’ll get nothing from either of them or Kim until Trump can prove he’s in charge of his administration, which he, clearly, is not.

And they will be moving forward with their own agenda for security and Asian economic integration. So I don’t think the timing of this meeting with that of the Belt and Road Forum is an accident.

And that means moving forward on solving the Korea problem without Trump.

It is clear from the rhetoric of Putin’s top diplomat, the irreplaceable Sergei Lavrov, that Russia’s patience is over. They are no longer interested in what Trump wants and they will now treat the U.S. as a threat, having upped their military stance towards the U.S. to that of “Threat.”

If Bolton wants anything from Russia at this point he best be prepared to start a war or piss off.

This is also why Russia took the gloves off with Ukraine in the run up to the Presidential elections, cutting off energy and machinery exports with Ukraine.

To put paid Putin’s growing impatience with U.S. policies, he just issued the order to allow residents of Lugansk and Donetsk People’s Republics to apply for Russian passports.

This will send Bolton into apoplexy. Angela Merkel of Germany will be none too pleased either. Putin is now playing hardball after years of unfailing politeness.

It’s also why Lavrov finalized arms and port deals all over the Middle East in recent weeks, including those with Lebanon, Egypt, Turkey and India.

Bolton, Pompeo and Pence are ideologues. Trump is a typical Baby Boomer, who lives in a bubble of his own design and believes in an America that never existed.

None of them truly understand the fires they are stoking and simply believe in the Manifest Destiny of the U.S. to rule the world over a dim and barbaric world.

Putin, Xi, Rouhani in Iran and Kim in North Korea are pragmatic men. They understand the realities they live in. This is why I see Putin willing tomorrow to sit down with Kim and flaunt the U.N. sanctions and begin the investment process into North Korea that should have begun last year.

Putin would not be making these moves if he didn’t feel that Bolton was all bark and no bite when it came to actual war with Russia. He also knows that Germany needs him more than he needs Germany so despite the feet-dragging and rhetoric Nordstream 2 will go forward.

Trade is expanding between them despite the continued sanctions.

Putin may be willing to cut a deal with President-elect Zelensky on gas transit later in the year but only if the shelling of the LPR and DPR stops and he guarantees no more incidents in the Sea of Azov. This would also mollify Merkel a bit and make it easier for her politically to get Nordstream 2 over the finish line.

There are moments in history when people go too far. Bolton and Pompeo went too far in Hanoi. He will pay the price now. Putin and Kim will likely agree to something in Vladivostok that no one is expecting and won’t look like much at first.

But the reality is this summit itself marks a turning point in this story that will end with the U.S. being, in Trump’s transactional parlance, a “price taker” since it has so thoroughly failed at being a “price maker.”

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