India ‘Cuts Down’ Russian Presence; Will Redeploy Defense Attaches To Armenia, Poland & African Nations

In response to its changing geo-strategic challenges, India will deploy defense attaches to Armenia, the Philippines, and Poland for the first time. India will also remove its military personnel posted at its embassy in Moscow and high commission in London to be redeployed in other countries.

India Readies Biggest Naval Base Next To Pakistan; Can Host Navy’s Largest Warship – 44,500-Ton INS Vikramaditya

Some of the other countries where defense attaches will be posted are in the African continent.

India has established itself as the flagbearer of the Global South, or developing nations. For the past few years, India has been conducting a diplomatic blitzkrieg with African countries. New Delhi has been seeking closer military ties with countries in Africa as China is increasing its influence on the continent.

In 2022, India stepped up as a defense supplier to Armenia, embroiled in a protracted conflict with Azerbaijan. The first consignment of weapons was delivered last year via Iran. Armenia, a small landlocked nation nestled in the South Caucasus region of Eurasia, has emerged as a strategic partner for India.

In 2022, when India inked the deal to supply Armenia with PINAKA multi-barrel rocket launchers (MBRL), anti-tank munitions, and ammunition worth US $250 million, it was seen as New Delhi taking a position in the conflict. It was India’s first export of PINAKA. Armenia opted for PINAKA MBRLs, considered at par with the American HIMARs, for its shoot-and-scoot capability.

As reported by the EurAsian Times earlier, Armenia has also contracted the Hyderabad-based Zen Technologies for INR 340 crore (US$41.5 million) for the anti-drone system order that includes training solutions and an anti-drone system.

In the latest acquisition drive, Armenia has reportedly placed an order for the Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System (ATAGS) from India. These guns are considered to be the best in their category and can be deployed at high altitudes.

The deployment of an Indian military official in the country has been long overdue. A total of 16 defense attaches from the Indian Army, the Navy, and the Indian Air Force will shortly assume their new positions. The Indian government is achieving the new positions by rationalizing the presence of military officials in other countries’ embassies, such as Moscow and London.

A few military attaches posted in these two countries are set to be deployed elsewhere as part of the rationalization process that factored in various aspects of New Delhi’s foreign policy priorities and optimum use of manpower.

The Philippines will soon become the first country apart from India to have a BrahMos supersonic cruise missile in its arsenal. The archipelagic country has been developing closer military ties with India to counter the common adversary, an aggressive China.

India’s decision to appoint a defense attache to Poland, a member of the European Union, is also being considered significant. It reflects the desire to expand two-way defense ties. Last year, the European Union posted a military attache to its mission in India for the first time.

PINAKA missile system India Armenia
Enhanced PINAKA rocket, developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) successfully flight-tested from Integrated Test Range, Chandipur, in Odisha on November 04, 2020.

Wooing Africa

India has had a long-standing cooperation with African countries and provides training to military personnel from many African countries.

Besides, India contributes to peacekeeping troops in Africa. Mutual trust between India and African countries makes it easier for India to sell weapons, and New Delhi would like to capture this market.

India also has a considerable price advantage over Western defense companies, and New Delhi exploits it to the hilt. Making no bones about its ambition to become a major exporter in the defense sector, India has asked its Defense Attachés posted overseas to play a “pivotal role” in achieving the defense export target of US$5 billion by 2025.

Under the scheme, India is targeting 85 countries.

Now, New Delhi will dispatch new defense attaches in African countries such as Ethiopia, Ivory Coast, Mozambique, and Djibouti. The crucial decision aligns with the central government’s priority to expand its strategic engagement with other countries.

The Indian Government is aggressively pursuing self-reliance in defense manufacturing. While the Indian armed forces are encouraged to support “Make-in-India” products, the country is also eyeing foreign markets for its military hardware.

So, it was not surprising that India gathered officials from 31 African countries at the beginning of 2023 to showcase its domestically made helicopters, drones, and artillery guns.

During the gathering of African officials, the Indian military simulated operations featuring helicopters, armored vehicles, and bomb disposal robots. Also on display were assault rifles, artillery shells, and models of missiles.

The gathering preceded nine days of multilateral maritime drills and the Africa-India field training exercise (AFINDEX-2023), with soldiers from 23 African countries, including delegates from Ethiopia, Egypt, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, Rwanda, and South Africa participating.

  • Ritu Sharma has been a journalist for over a decade, writing on defense, foreign affairs, and nuclear technology.
  • The author can be reached at ritu.sharma (at)
  • Follow EurAsian Times on Google News