After S-400 Missile Deal, India Keen On Russian Kamov Helicopters: Army Chief Bipin Rawat

| October 8 , 2018 , 13:53 IST

Even as India completed the S-400 missile deal with Russia recently, despite risk of US sanctions, Indian Army Chief General Bipin Rawat on Sunday asserted that India follows an independent policy and is keen on getting Kamov helicopters and other weapon systems from Russia.

The statements came from General Rawat after his return from a 6-day visit to Russia, during which he held talks with his counterpart and military officials to enhance cooperation between the two countries.

After the visit, Army Chief General Rawat said that the Russians were very keen in associating with the Indian Army and defence forces.

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“Because they do understand that we are a strong Army, capable of standing up to what is right for us based on our strategic thought process,” PTI quoted General Rawat as saying.

During his trip to Russia, General Rawat also emphasised that despite India's associations with US technology, it follows an independent policy.

“You (Russia) can be rest assured (that) while we may be associating with America in getting some technology, but we follow an independent policy. I told them, while we are talking sanctions and you are questioning on sanctions, President Vladimir Putin and Mr. Narendra Modi, at this juncture, are signing the treaty on purchase of S-400 weapon system inspite of the fact that we may face challenges from America in the future,” the Army Chief said.

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On October 5, during Russian President Vladimir Putin's 2-day visit to India, he and Prime Minister Narendra Modi officially signed the deal for procurement of S-400 air defence systems from Russia, despite US warnings of sanctions on India if it continues with the Russian deal.

The US urged its allies to not enter into transactions with Russia, warning that dealing with Russia would trigger US sanctions under the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act or CAATSA, which was made into a law last August.

"We urge all of our allies and partners to forgo transactions with Russia that would trigger sanctions under CAATSA," a US State Department Spokesperson said.

The S-400 air and missile defence system is manufactured by Almaz-Antey and is considered to be Russia's most advanced long-range surface-to-air missile defence system.