India’s submarine deal with Russia is going under, according to the Economic Times:
Indian plans to lease a cutting edge nuclear attack submarine that would assist in technical knowhow for an indigenous project have run aground with Russia seen to be backing out on the deal. Senior officials in Delhi and Moscow have told ET that plans to lease a Yasen class attack submarine – two of which are in service with the Russian Navy – are being reconsidered after fairly advanced talks on the project.
India–Soviet military ties were very deep during the Cold War, and since then India has continued to work closely with Russia. India has stayed close with Russia partly because maintaining and upgrading legacy equipment requires working with Moscow. It is also because India, which remembers U.S. sanctions against its nuclear program and, in any case, fears becoming too dependent on the U.S., wants to keep its arms supplies diversified. But India’s waking great power ambitions are affecting relations with Russia. Apparently Delhi was hoping to use the expertise it would gain by working on and them operating a late model Russian submarine as a basis for building its own next generation fleet of nuclear subs. It seems likely that the Russians aren’t interested in putting themselves out of a job in quite this way.
With India set to become one of the most important markets for weapons and military tech in the 21st century, lots of people in lots of world capitals will be paying attention to this submarine saga.