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Russian Technologies to Bolster India's Defence Capabilities: Expert 

© AFP 2023 ARUN SANKARAn exhibitor looks at sniper rifles kept on display at the Milipol India 2023 Internal Homeland Security Expo in New Delhi on October 26, 2023.
An exhibitor looks at sniper rifles kept on display at the Milipol India 2023 Internal Homeland Security Expo in New Delhi on October 26, 2023. - Sputnik India, 1920, 10.07.2024
The visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Russia has been extremely fruitful; views were exchanged with Russian President Vladimir Putin on current issues of bilateral practical cooperation, and the development of the Russia-India special and privileged strategic partnership.
Russia can help India by providing defence technology, as the need of the hour is to strategically use technology in various defence applications, said a cyber and aerospace security expert. The comments came after Modi concluded his two-day Russia visit on a high note.

Russia to Support India in Defence Technology

Talking to Sputnik India on what Russia can offer India in dynamic warfare, Prof (Dr.) Nishakant Ojha, Advisor for Cyber and Aerospace Security, and a counter-terrorism expert for West Asia and Middle East, commented that Russia is actively developing AI-enabled autonomous military capabilities, with a focus on the Joint All-Domain Command and Control (JADC2) system. Also known as the Automated Control System (ACS), the equipment integrates various domains such as air, sea, land, cyber, and space, consolidating data from sensors and shooters into a unified information space.

"Russia is leveraging artificial intelligence and autonomous systems to enhance the lethality of its forces, including using AI-enabled systems in the Ukraine conflict for surveillance and battlefield data analyses. AI will play a crucial role in advancing autonomous systems; countries that develop such technologies independently will likely lead in future battlefields," he opined.

Therefore, the strategic use of technology, particularly in defence applications like cyber-attacks, information warfare, disinformation dissemination and detection, deep fakes, and autonomous weapons, will shape future war strategies.
"In this context, India can benefit from Russian technologies to bolster its defense capabilities, as India is focusing a lot on AI in the current era," Ojha explained.

Interdependence of India and Russia in Defence Sector

Sharing his views on strengthening defence ties with Russia, the cyber and aerospace security expert said that Russia is the primary source of arms for India.
He noted that in the initial years following independence, the Indian Air Force (IAF) primarily used British aircraft and equipment, but along with Indian Army and Navy it quickly transitioned to predominantly using military equipment of Russian origin.

The IAF's arsenal expanded with Russian military aviation platforms such as the MiG-21 (later MiG-21 Bison), Su-7, MiG-23, MiG-27, MiG-29, and the more recent Su-30, as well as a significant number of transport aircraft like the IL-76, AN-32, IL-78, and helicopters including the Mi-17 for medium lift, Mi-26 for heavy lift, and Mi-25/35 for attack purposes," he said.

He added that the IAF had diversified its inventory in the late 1980s by incorporating Western fleet aircraft, but the majority of its inventory still consists of equipment of Russian origin.
The counter-terrorism expert further noted that although there is a drive towards "Atmanirbhar" (self-reliance), there remains a need to effectively manage the existing inventory. This is to ensure operational sustainability until complete self-reliance is achieved, with the current equipment fully replaced. Therefore, both countries are strategically interdependent on each other.

Significance of Modi-Putin Meeting

On the Annual Summit, Ojha said that Modi's visit to Russia is significant due to India's strategic interests in maintaining strong ties with Moscow amidst global geopolitical shifts. He further said that in navigating complex international dynamics, India is balancing its relations with Russia, China, and the West.
As far as the post-election political instability in the US and change in the political scene of the UK is concerned, the expert said that it might be a challenge for India due to its different stance on various subjects, includin Russia-Ukraine conflict, the Khalistan issue, extradition matters, illegal Indian immigrants in the UK, anti-colonial resentment against Britain and others.

"Hence, against the rapid geopolitical changes, the two-way move between India and Russia is strategic in terms of balancing the black shadow effect of the West," Ojha added.

Modi's two-day trip to Moscow proved extremely fruitful, as he was able to discuss various issues, including terrorism, energy, trade, the Ukraine conflict and others with Putin during bilateral talks.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, left, and Russian President Vladimir Putin visit Atom pavilion at the Exhibition of Achievements of National Economy (VDNKh) in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, July 9, 2024. (Artyom Geodakyan, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo) - Sputnik India, 1920, 09.07.2024
Indo-Russian Relations
Modi Wraps Up Russia Visit with High Enthusiasm
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