India signs $3b sub deal with Russia | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, March 09, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, March 09, 2019

India signs $3b sub deal with Russia

India has signed a $3 billion deal to lease a third Russian nuclear-powered submarine for 10 years, giving Delhi a boost in the Indian Ocean against arch-rivals Pakistan and China, media reports said.

A defence ministry spokesman declined to confirm the agreement to AFP but the reports said that the submarine, the third India has leased from Russia, would be delivered by 2025.

Russia, India's Cold War ally, remains a major supplier of arms to India, irking the United States which has imposed sanctions on nations buying military hardware from Moscow.

Last October Russian President Vladimir Putin and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi met and inked a deal for Delhi to buy Russia's S-400 surface-to-air missile defence system for $5.2 billion.

But India also shares US fears about China's growing assertiveness in the Indian Ocean, where New Delhi has traditionally held sway.

In 2017 India and China had a military standoff over a Himalayan plateau claimed by both Beijing and Bhutan, a close ally of India. China has made inroads in Sri Lanka and Maldives, countries that India considers to be in its sphere of influence, through its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

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