India has signed a $3 billion deal to lease a third Russian nuclear-powered submarine for 10 years, media reports said.
An Indian defence ministry spokesman declined to confirm the agreement to AFP but the reports said that the submarine, the third India has leased from Russia, would be delivered by 2025.
Russia, India’s Cold War ally, remains a major supplier of arms to India, irking the United States which has imposed sanctions on nations buying military hardware from Moscow.
India also shares US fears about China’s growing assertiveness in the Indian Ocean, where New Delhi has traditionally held sway.
Last October Russian President Vladimir Putin and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi met and inked a deal for Delhi to buy Russia’s S-400 surface-to-air missile defence system for $5.2 billion.
More than 80 percent of India’s military equipment was of Soviet origin during the days of the Cold War, but since its breakup New Delhi has diversified its weaponry.
The United States is one of its top arms suppliers, closing $15 billion worth of deals in just the last decade.
U.S. firms Lockheed Martin and Boeing led the race to sell the Indian military hundreds of aircraft to replace its ageing Russian MiG planes.