India is likely to hold talks to provide military assistance to Afghanistan in terms of long term spares and support with the help of Russia.
Afghanistan president Ashraf Ghani and Prime Minister Narendra Modi will likely hold discussion, involving trilateral framework with Russia during sixth Heart of Asia (HoA) ministerial conference in Amritsar later this week.
Based on the assessment report, we will work out a model with Russia where they will supply the required equipment and we will pay for it,” a defense ministry official told The Hindu. “Based on the assessment report, we will work out a model with Russia where they will supply the required equipment and we will pay for it”.
Last month, two Indian Air Force technical teams visited Afghanistan to assess the requirement for spares and maintenance in order to restore the soviet-era helicopter and transport aircraft, defense and diplomatic officials said.
Kabul had long been requesting India for offensive military hardware and has several times presented a wish list of urgent military hardware.
A revised list was given to India in August during the visit of the Chief of Afghan National Army General Qadam Shah Shahim and was discussed at the highest level during Mr. Ghani’s visit in September.
Priority items on the list include utility and attack helicopters, tanks, artillery, ammunition and spares, in addition to help in reviving some of the Soviet-era equipment and factories in Afghanistan.
The current assessment is specifically for spares and support for the helicopters and aircraft with Afghanistan and does not include supply of new hardware from India.
India has supplied three Cheetal utility helicopters, and in a major policy shift, agreed to transfer four Mi-25 attack helicopters from its inventory last year.