India is buying howitzers again. This had not happened in 27 years since the Bofors gun deal in which then prime minister Rajiv Gandhi and other political leaders were accused of taking kickbacks from Bofors AB to help the firm secure a howitzer supply contract. Now that India has restarted its purchases, it is turning to various countries as well as domestic arms manufacturers to help meet its demand. This has left its long-term arms supplier, Russia, somewhat out in the cold.
There is a full mandate from both New Delhi and Moscow to smoothen out the rough edges but somehow this is not happening. Interestingly, their cooperation in the defense sector is central to mutual Indo-Russian discomfort, though each side has its own reasons for this unease.