India’s biggest military supplier has historically been Russia, with Israel growing in defence trade volume in addition to partnering on important Indian programmes. The history of Indian defence relations with Russia lies in the Cold War. Israel has been increasing defence trade with India, particularly in advanced technology areas such as radars, unmanned systems, and missile technology.

Regulatory trends

Listed below are the key regulatory trends impacting the India Impact theme, as identified by GlobalData

Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty

The 1987 INF Treaty required the US and the Soviet Union to eliminate and permanently forswear all of their nuclear and conventional ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with ranges of 500 to 5,500km. The US withdrew from the treaty, claiming Russian violation. The most likely reason was in fact that China was not a participant, and thus not bound by it.

The US did not wish to be bound by restrictions not affecting adversaries. With India’s interest in advanced missile technologies for battlefield use, this is a key treaty in understanding weapons development in this area and ensuing policy decisions.

Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR)

The MTCR is not a treaty and does not impose any legally binding obligations on partners but is an informal political understanding among states that seek to limit the proliferation of missiles and missile technology. Regime created in order to halt the spread of unmanned delivery systems for nuclear weapons, specifically delivery systems that could carry a payload of 500kg for a distance of 300km. India officially became a member on 27 June 2016.

Military modernisation

India’s armed forces are primarily equipped with military equipment from the Cold War, known as legacy equipment. India needs to replace equipment across the service branches, from Main Battle Tank (MBTs), to Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFVs), submarines, and standard issue rifles. The delays in these programmes and the inefficiencies they display mean that India is approaching a point of having to reconsider its plans for equipment.

This is an edited extract from the Impact of India on Aerospace and Defense – Thematic Research report produced by GlobalData Thematic Research.