In an attempt to poach the contract from competitors, Russia plans to offer its own self-propelled surface-to-air missile systems to India while Indian Defense Minister Rajnath Singh is in the country this week. Singh will be visiting Moscow to attend a session of the India-Russia Inter-Governmental Commission on Military Technical Cooperation (IRIGC-MTC).
An anonymous high-level source told Financial Express that during the meeting with Singh, Russian officials will urge India to reconsider its decision to award the contract to the South Korean company Hanwha.
The contract with South Korea resulted from an Indian tender in 2013 that was contested by the Russian producers Almaz-Antey, which is developing an improved Tunguska missile system, and the Tula Instrument Design Bureau, which produces Pantsir anti-aircraft missile systems, as well as the South Korean company Hanwha Defense Systems, which proposed its hybrid K30 Biho “Flying Tiger” system.
The Indian Army wants to acquire 104 missile systems, as well as 4,928 missiles and 172,260 rounds of ammunition. The guns and launchers can be installed on a single or individual highly mobile platforms. One of the most important requirements imposed on the potential suppliers was that the guns and the missiles must be able to destroy airborne targets both with the assistance of fire-control radar and without it.
The new products are expected to replace 1,360 outdated Swedish 40 mm Bofors L 70 systems and Soviet ZU-23-2 towed cannons.