Russia Takes Steps for Full Life-Cycle Product Support of Delivered Arms
ZHUKOVSKY, MOSCOW. Russia has taken a number of crucial steps to ensure full lifecycle product support of defence hardware supplied to India amid frequent complaints of lack of spares for the smooth operation of the armed forces. “We have taken some steps and decided that the programme of after-sales services will involve Russian dedicated holding companies in order to ensure the operation of previously supplied equipment throughout its life-cycle which may be 20, 30, 40 years - be it a submarine, a helicopter, a tank, etc.,” Director General of ‘Rosoboronexport’ (ROE) Alexander Mikheev said interacting with a group of select Indian journalists on the sidelines of MAKS2017 air show here. ROE - a unit of Rostec State Corporation is the state monopoly arms exporter of Russia and all foreign spares supplies were routed through a time consuming lengthy bureaucratic process. Mr Mikheev disclosed that the Indian side had raised this issue at the first India- Russia Military-Industrial Conference in March, co-chaired by Defence Minister Arun Jaitley and Russian Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov in New Delhi.
“We have specified six companies that will carry out direct co-operation with both - operators of Russian equipment and Indian companies that will be charged with operating this equipment and manufacturing its spare parts in India,” Mr Mikheev said. He identified the United Shipbuilding Corporation, the United Aircraft Corporation, Russian Helicopters, the United Engine Corporation, Almaz- Antey (S-400 and other air defence hardware) and Tactical Missile Corporation as the entities which will directly deal with their clients and counterparts with India in MRO and production of spares.
Mr Mikheev said Russia was already considering the capabilities of the Indian industry within the framework of the Make in India programme and the joint venture for Kamov Ka-226T helicopters is the first. Russian Helicopters and Rosoboronexport have 49.5 per cent shares in the India-based JV India-Russia Helicopters Limited incorporated in May with HAL (50.5 per cent) for the production Kamov Ka-226T helicopters for the Indian armed forces to phase out ageing Chetak and Cheetah choppers.
Mr Mikheev did not rule out that after completing Indian MoD’s order for 200 Ka-226T the JV could become the global hub for the production of this chopper, which has a huge potential market in South East Asia and Latin America.
India already has more than 300 Mi-8 and Mi-17 family helicopters involved in military transport, search and rescue missions, currently the negotiations are on for the sale of another 48 Mi-17V5 helicopters.
“We hope that we will reach an agreement before the end of this year,” he told.
Last year, Russia had delivered the final batch of three Mi-17V-5 military transport helicopters under a previously signed contract for a total of 151 units of the Mi-17V-5 helicopter, produced by the Kazan Helicopter Plant. Designed to transport cargo inside the cabin and on an external sling, the Mi-17V5 is considered to be one of the world’s most advanced military transport helicopters. In 2008, a contract was signed for the delivery of 80 Mi-17V-5 to India, which was completed in 2011 -2013. In 2012-2013, three additional contracts were signed to supply a total of 71 Mi-17V-5 helicopters to meet the needs of the Indian Air Force (IAF).
Mr Mikheev also mentioned about ongoing negotiations for the modernisation of Su-30 MKI under Super Sukhoi project. “During a period of 15 years, we have fulfilled all our obligations to the Indian party, the HAL Corporation supplied over 200 (Su-30MKI), under the license agreement -- and now we are offering new developments of our design bureaus. The IAF has some requirements for improvement of performance and operational characteristics, mainly with regard to avionics, electronic warfare systems, as well as upgrades of weapon systems by both Indian and Russian companies. Earlier, on the sidelines of MAKS-2017 a senior official of the Rosoboronexport’s parent company, Rostec, told reporters Super Sukhoi was discussed at Modi-Putin summit in St. Petersburg on June 1, and Prime Minister Modi had asked for more time for finalising the configuration of Super Sukhoi by IAF.
An IAF Su-30 MKI
(Top) Mi-17 V5, 151 units have been procured; MoD has an order for 200 Kamovs Ka-226T helicopter