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List of 10 latest defence deals of India 2020

Indian Army is the world's largest Standing army in the world with a strength of around 1.4 million. Not only this, but India is also the world's largest importer of defence-related equipment such as arms and ammunition. India spends billions in the defence sector to strengthen its Armed Forces and safeguard its territory. Below we have mentioned the latest defence deals of India:


1- Fleet Vessel Ship Agreement

In October 2019, India put the FVS (Fleet Vessel Ship) Agreement on hold after questions were raised on Turkey’s links with Pakistan and the recent diplomatic tiff with the Recep Tayyip Erdogan government. Turkish shipyards are major suppliers of warships to the Navy of Pakistan. This raised serious security concerns as the Turkish company was to manufacture ships at HSL. However, in February 2020, the Government of India has given a nod to go ahead with the $2.3 billion deal after reviewing the concerns as mentioned above.


Under this agreement, the Turkish company will manufacture 5 Fleet Vessel Ship of 45,000 tonnes at HSL (Hindustan Shipyard Limited), Vishakhapatnam. Turkey's TIAS emerged as the lowest bidder for the FVS contract and was given a green signal in the year 2016. These ships will be used by the Indian Navy to carry fuel and other supplies to refuel its warships at sea.


2- India-US Apache Contract

India and the US have signed $930 million agreement for 6 Apache Helicopters for Indian Army. The contract was made in the year 2015 by the Indian Air Force for 22 Apache helicopters. Out of 22 helicopters, 17 have already been delivered to India and the rest will be delivered in the year 2023. These helicopters will be deployed on Rajasthan border with Pakistan on western sector.

The contract includes munitions, training, aircraft certification, and components include engines, EO sensors and the radar. Indian Army will get the AH-64E Apache configuration. This is the world's most advanced multi-role helicopter and was inducted in the US Army in November 2011.

The Apache sale is a hybrid procurement – Direct Commercial Sale (DCS) between Boeing and Ministry of Defence (MoD) and Foreign Military Sale (FMS) between the Government of India and the US Government.

The Apache helicopters are produced in Mesa, Arizona and more than 400 Apache helicopters (AH-64E) have been delivered worldwide to date.

The Apache helicopters have advanced digital connectivity, joint tactical information distribution system, more powerful T700-GE-701D engines with upgraded face gear transmission to accommodate more power, the capability to control unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and new composite main rotor blade.


3- MH-60 Romeo Helicopters Deal

In 2018, after the dialogue between India and the United States in New Delhi, the South Block gave a nod to the Indian Navy to pursue the acquisition of 24 Sikorsky MH-60R helicopters. The contract was finally sealed in February 2020, during President Trump's visit to India.

The $2.6 billion deal between India and the US includes helicopter, communication systems, weapons systems, eight anti-surface Hellfire Missiles which can be used to hit at ships, MK 54 Lightweight Torpedoes, 50 cannons and precision rocket systems.

MH-60 helicopters are manufactured by Lockheed Martin's Sikorsky Aircraft and will be procured by India via government-to-government route. The delivery of these helicopters will start in the year 2021. The helicopters will be inducted onboard Delhi and Kolkata class destroyers and 15B destroyers (currently under construction).

The said helicopter is US Navy's primary anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare helicopter. It is capable enough to do search, rescue and supply missions.

These helicopters will replace Sea King anti-submarine warfare helicopters of the Indian Navy. The Sea King helicopter was de-inducted from the service in 1991 and the Indian Navy is currently using an outdated helicopter. In 1971, India acquired these helicopters from the United Kingdom to detect and engage the warships and submarines lurking in the Indian Ocean from Pakistan and China.


4- India-Israel Defence Pact

The Government of India has signed Rs 800 crore deal with the Israel Weapons Industries (IWI) to procure 16,479 Negev 7.62x51 mm light machine guns (gas-operated) for the Indian Armed Forces. These machine guns are used as squad automatic weapons and will enhance the lethal power of a soldier along with his range. The light machine guns have improved lethality and range over the one currently used by the Indian soldiers.

LMG (light machine guns) were first used in World War II and were later introduced by IWI in the year 2012. The Negev LMG is inducted by Israel as well as several other Defence Forces around the globe.

The weight of the said LMG is 7.95 kg without the magazine and other accessories have a length of 1,100 mm, retracted length of 1,030 mm. The LMG can fire 600 rounds in the semi-automatic mode and 750 in the fully automatic mode. The magazines used can either be 100 or 125-round assault drum or an ammunition belt.


5- Air Force One Deal with the US

The Government of India has signed a $ 190 million deal with the US Government to procure two self-protection suites (SPS). The deal was signed during President Trump's visit to India in February 2020. These suites will be retrofitted on the two custom-built Boeing-777 aircraft earlier acquired for long-haul VVIP travel.

The aircraft will have two wide-bodied B-777s, fully-integrated advanced missile approach warning sensors, defensive electronic warfare systems, infra-red counter-measures, digital radio frequency jammers and other such contraptions under the overall SPS. This will similar to President Trump's Air Force One or the Flying Oval Office.

After Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was shot down over Ukraine last year and similar other incidents, Prime Minister Modi will soon be able to fly in a secure aircraft after the clearance of Desi Air Force One. The aircraft will be used by Prime Minister of India, President of India and more VVIPs for extra-long-haul overseas travel.

The B-777s will be under IAF control rather than earlier decided Air India. Also, IAF pilots have been trained to fly the VVIP aircraft.


6- India-US Guardian Drones Deal

The US and the Indian Government signed a $ 2-3 billion deal for the Guardian drones. The US Government has cleared the sale of 22 predator Guardian drones to India. The drones are manufactured by General Atomics.

The Guardian drone can be used for wide-area, long-endurance maritime intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions. It can stay put for 27 hours in the air and can fly at 50,000 feet. The Indian Navy made the request for ISR (intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance) in 2017.


7- India's Defence Deal with Armenia

On March 1, 2020, India signed a $ 40 million deal with Armenia, Europe to supply 4 SWATHI weapon locating radars. The radars are capable of locating weapons and are developed by DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organisation) and manufactured by BEL (Bharat Electronics Limited).

Armenia conducted trials of the radar systems offered by Russia and Poland but gave a nod to India's SWATHI weapon. India's radar system provides fast, automatic and accurate location of enemy weapons like shells, mortars, and rockets in its 50-km range. It includes 81mm or higher calibre mortars, 105mm or higher calibre shells and 120mm or higher calibre free flying rockets.

This deal will strengthen the 'Make in India' initiative by the Government of India and will brace the Indian Defence System.


8- India-Russia Defence Deal

During DefExpo 2020, India and Russia signed 14 MoUs (memorandums of understanding). The MoUs consist of development and production of land, air and naval systems and hi-tech civilian products. This set the defence deals between India and Russia to cross $16 billion.

Russia is committed to implementing a contract within the promised time frame. This includes the supply of S-400 air defence systems and the production of Kalashnikov rifles and Kamov helicopters.

Rosoboronexport, Russia's state-run organization has signed deals with DRDO for advanced pyrotechnic ignition systems, HAL for the export of spares and services to allies, and BHEL for land systems.

Another deal was signed between Russian Helicopters and Indo-Russian Helicopters Ltd to localise the components used in Kamov Ka-226 helicopters. India is planning to purchase 200 Ka-226 helicopters.

India has already made the payment of the first tranche in 2019 for five S-400 systems. The deal is approximately $5.4 billion.

Despite the pressure from the US, India signed strong defence deals with Russia. Also, Russia was the largest foreign contributor at DefExpo 2020.


9- India-Russia air-to-air Missiles Deal

The Government of India has signed Rs 1,500 crore deal with Russia to procure R-27 air-to-air missiles to be equipped on the Su-30MKI combat aircraft. This deal will boost India's capabilities in beyond visual range warfare.

The missile is developed by Russia and is a medium-to-long-range air-to-air missile for MiG and Sukhoi fighter jets.

After the Pulwama attack, emergency powers were granted by the Centre to all the three services to buy types of equipment of their choice up to Rs 300 crore per case within 3 months to safeguard the borders with Pakistan.


10- India-US Defence Deal of Naval Guns

India signed a deal of $1.0210 billion with the US to obtain 13 MK45 Naval guns and related equipment.

The MK-45 Gun System will help India to conduct anti-surface warfare and anti-air defence missions while enhancing its interoperability with the U.S. and other allied forces. India will use the enhanced capability as a deterrent to regional threats and strengthen the defence system.

The contractor of India-US defence deal is BAE Systems Land and Armaments, Minneapolis, Minnesota with gun manufacturing in Louisville, Kentucky.

India is one of the few nations in the world that is granted to procure the latest version of naval guns (Mod 4) by the US. The other countries include-- Australia, South Korea, Japan and Thailand.

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