guaranteed through 2012, has enabled the Irkut Corporationto develop long-term corporate, financial and technical plans.In contrast, Sukhoi AMPC has very profitable but short-term (2to 3 year) contracts with China that fail to provide guaranteesor consistent resources for the development of a similar long-term strategy.Indian clients’ stipulations concerning the installation ofWestern and Israeli parts also stimulate R&D. Most importantly,they promote international cooperation, which is absolutelyessential in this era of globalization. Irkut Corporation andNPOmash are accumulating absolutely essential experiencewhile working with IRTAP and BrahMos on joint projects. Otherentities in the Russian defense industry will also benefit fromthis experience, as will officials, who will need to push foramendments to Russian legislation, which currently placesvarious barriers in the way of internationalizing high-tech andmilitary production.
Latest Trends in Indian Policy: Diversification orReorientation?
In the past 2 to 3 years, India has signed a number of majorcontracts for (or begun negotiations on) the purchase ofexpensive weapons systems not made in Russia. After signingagreements for the licensed production of Su-30MKI fighters,T-90S battle tanks, Ka-31 AEWhelicopters and Il-78 air tankers inDecember 2000-February 2001,the Indian armed forces decidednot to place any more orderswith Russia for the time being,though the long-awaited contract for the
was one exception. This has led to Russian fears that New Delhiis seeking new sources of large-scale arms procurements,primarily from Israel and France. However, upon closerexamination, Russia often had no reason to expect to win theseother tenders, and most of the time the Russian defenseindustry was simply unable to submit competitive offers.Two of the most unfortunate cases when Russia failed topromote its products involved Indian tenders for the purchaseof light fighters and trainers, won respectively by France andGreat Britain.
Russia has often offered India weaponry not fully developedby the contract date, so incomplete R&D on the multirolemodifications of MiG-29M/M2s should not have been aproblem. In any case, the technical risks involved in finishingthe MiG-29SMT/M/M2 multirole fighter are significantly lowerthan those present in 1996, when the Su-30MKI project waslaunched, or earlier, when the contract for upgrading MiG-21fighters to MiG-21-93 standard was concluded. Deliveries ofMiG-29SMTs to Yemen will probably begin in 2004, and asimilar upgrade may be conducted in other countries. Themultirole modification of the MiG-29 could become a reality inthe near future.In addition, India has a large fleet of MiG-29s, the avionics ofwhich could have been retrofitted to correspond to the mostrecently delivered batches. Finally, the facelift for the MiG-29Kdeck fighters could have been coordinated with existing andnewly acquired aircraft. Thus, a number of factors could havesupported Russia’s case, and India’s choice can be describedas a painful loss for RAC MiG and Rosoboronexport, the state-owned arms agency. We believe that the main reason formissing out on the contract may have been Indiandissatisfaction with Russian maintenance on its MiG-29 aircraftand a lack of aggressiveness among Russian exporters in thissector.
Advanced Jet Trainer
The main reasons cited for India’s preference of British Hawktrainers were the extensive application of these aircraft by theair forces of some 15 countries and the option of convertingthem into light combat planes. There were fundamentalarguments against choosing Britain, namely the contract priceand outdated design of the Hawk. Russia evidently did havethe chance to offer its trainers, even though they had still notbeen completed. In addition, MiG-ATs could have beenpromoted as a joint projectbetween France, Russia andIndia.In other cases India’s decisionscannot be interpretedunequivocally as indications of alarge-scale reorientation to non-Russian suppliers: Russia hasno viable competitive unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), land andair-borne radars, air defense weaponry, or small ship-borneSAMs.The question of India’s reorientation to other suppliersremains unclear. In our opinion, the following factors willprovide the most accurate indication of India’s attitude to thefurther development of MTC with Russia:The choice of the Indian Navy between Russian and Germanconventional submarines (SSK);The outcome of a tender for the upgrade of the S-125Pechora (SA-3 Goa) short-range surface-to-air missilesystem (Russia is competing with Poland);Decisions on several upgrade programs, primarily for theMiG-29 and the T-72S battle tank.On the whole, the prospects for Russian-Indian MTC dependless on the aggressiveness of competitors than on thecapability of the Russian defense industry to improve thequality of products delivered to India, and its ability to organizeproper maintenance services for weaponry and militaryhardware.
Russian Armed Forces