File Photo: Russian-made Igla-S system

BEIRUT, LEBANON (7:30 P.M.) – The Economic Times newspaper, citing an informed source, reported that the Indian Ministry of Defense is negotiating with Russia to speed up the supply of hand-held Igla air defense system.

Indian Defense Minister Rajnath Singh arrived in Moscow to participate in the Victory Day parade this week, and he had previously held talks with Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov to discuss defense contracts.

At the conclusion of the negotiations, Singh noted that “not all of the existing contracts will be supported, but the work will be accelerated to complete them.”

Earlier this month, the Indian government granted all three military branches the authority to purchase weapons in emergency situations, allowing them to spend up to 5 billion rupees ($66 million) to meet urgent needs.

India is one of Russia’s largest military and technical partners. The most important contracts signed with this country are the agreements to supply S-400 air defense systems, project frigates “11356” with the subsequent transfer of technology.

Furthermore, there are negotiations on the supply and resettlement of the Ka 226T multi-purpose light helicopters in India (200 aircraft, 40 of which will be delivered in Russia, and the remaining 160 will be assembled in India).

In 2018, Russia won a tender for the supply of Igla portable air defense systems.

This news comes at a time when India has been involved in fierce border clashes with neighboring China in the disputed Ladakh region.

On June 15th, at least 20 Indian soldiers were killed in a border battle with the Chinese military; this was the deadliest clash between the two world powers in decades.

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