Amid heightened tensions with China over boundary issue, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will request Russia to urgently supply spares and associated equipment to India for its fighter planes, submarines and battle tanks through the air route instead of sea route using ships.
Singh has left for Russia on a three-day visit where he would be meeting the top Russian political leadership and is expected to update them about the present situation on the Ladakh front where the Chinese army has done a massive built upon Indian borders.
"During the visit, the defence minister will take up the issue of urgent supply of equipment and spares needed for the Russian-origin fighter aircraft including the Su-30MKIs and MiG-29s of the air force and the MiG29Ks of the Indian Navy, the T-90 battle ranks for the army and the kilo-class submarines of the navy along with other warships," government sources said.
The sources said the equipment was earlier supposed to be supplied to India through the sea route in ships but was stuck there for several months due to the COVID-19 situation.
"Now based on our old relations and ties with the Russians, the defence minister will request them to send these items to us through the air route so that we can get it urgently in the present situation," they said.
During the talks with the Russian leaders, the defence minister will also ask them to expedite the delivery of the S-400 air defence systems which are supposed to be delivered by the end of next year. The Russians had postponed the delivery schedule by several months due to delay in payments over certain issues.
Before the defence minister left for Moscow, he was given an extensive briefing on the topics to be touched by him during the visit.
After the MiG-series plane started getting phased out, the Su-30 MKI has become the mainstay of the Indian Air Force.