India will not give up on using Russian weapons - Indian military

India has no plans to give up Russian arms in favor of counterparts from other countries, RIA Novosti learned from an officer of mechanized forces in the Indian Army, Colonel Vivek Suryakant Budva.

India has no plans to give up Russian arms in favor of counterparts from other countries, RIA Novosti learned from an officer of mechanized forces in the Indian Army, Colonel Vivek Suryakant Budva.

Russia and India are major partners in the military-technical cooperation sphere: more than 70% of the armaments and military equipment of the Indian Army, Air Force, and Navy are of Russian and Soviet production. According to the Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation, India buys more than $4.5 billion worth of Russian military equipment and weapons.

“I would disagree with that”, was the officer’s reply to a question on how realistic was the opinion of some experts that India was gradually giving up Russian arms in favor of its own products and cooperation with other countries.

“The Russian equipment is good. We use it in India. We receive our training on it, and I am not aware of any such change in attitude,” he added.

The colonel, who will head the Indian team of soldiers from a tank biathlon during the International Army Games, expressed hope that his delegation would be successful, despite the fact that the T-72B3 tanks, on which they will be competing, “being very different from those they have in India”.

Colonel Budva also noted that the tank biathlon is gaining popularity among ordinary Indians, not only members of the Army. He expressed hope that in the future, India would be able to host the International Army Games.

The International Army Games 2015 will be held from August 1 to 15 at 11 military training ranges located throughout Russia, from Siberia to Krasnodar Krai, including in Novosibirsk, Saratov, Kaspiysk in Dagestan, Yeisk in Krasnodar Krai, Ryazan, Murom in Vladimir Oblast, Nizhny Novgorod, Ostrogozhsk in Voronezh Oblast, Kostroma in Yaroslavl Oblast and Alabino in Moscow Oblast.

First published in Russian by RIA Novosti.

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