India plans to get new frigates from Russia while the US threatens New Delhi with sanctions over purchase of S-400 missile system

Despite the modernization of India’s defense industry, Indo-Russian military cooperation is still strong — and two Talwar-class frigates will be delivered to New Delhi in 2024. But could competition from the US get in the way?

As part of a $2.2 billion deal with Moscow, the pair of warships, currently under construction at the Yantar Shipyard in Kaliningrad, will be delivered in two years — and two additional frigates will be built domestically at India’s Goa Shipyard under a technology transfer agreement.

Relationship built over decades
India’s naval ties with Russia can be traced back to the mid-1960s when, following the 1962 Indo-China war, the government embarked on a plan for defense modernisation after suffering a humiliating defeat.

New Delhi’s efforts to solicit interest from the United States and Britain during the Cold War were largely unsuccessful, however, so India turned to the Soviet Union — sparking the rapid development of Indo-Soviet naval ties. Soviet support during the 1971 war with Pakistan then firmly established Indo-Russian defense ties and paved the way for future cooperation.

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