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

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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.

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.

In the 50 years since, India has received a Kiev-class combination cruiser and aircraft carrier (the first fixed-wing carrier class built by the USSR), destroyers, stealth frigates, conventional and nuclear submarines, maritime reconnaissance aircraft and naval helicopters from Russia. Indeed, an estimated 70 percent of India’s defense equipment is of Russian or Soviet........

© RT.com