Rus­sia Un­fazed by In­dia’s Grow­ing De­fence Ties With US, Is­rael

India Strategic - - MAKS 2017 - By Vi­nay Shukla

ZHUKOVSKY ( MOSCOW RE­GION). Rus­sia is un­fazed by In­dia’s grow­ing de­fence ties with its West­ern ri­vals in­clud­ing the US and Is­rael, a top Rus­sian de­fence in­dus­try of­fi­cial said adding that no other coun­try will give the kind of sen­si­tive tech­nol­ogy which Moscow gives to New Delhi as its strate­gic part­ner.

“Co­op­er­a­tion with In­dia will cer­tainly con­tinue. Re­gard­less of whether In­dia co­op­er­ates only with Rus­sia or also with Is­rael and other coun­tries. And France also, and USA. We have our own niche, th­ese coun­tries have their own di­rec­tions for co­op­er­a­tion. There­fore, this does not mean that if In­dia will work with some other coun­tries, co­op­er­a­tion with Rus­sia will cease. No. There are things that no one else will give ex­cept Rus­sia. There­fore, Rus­sia has al­ways been and will be a strate­gic part­ner of In­dia,” CEO of Rus­sian Tech­nolo­gies - Rostec Cor­po­ra­tion Sergei Che­me­zov said talk­ing to a group of se­lect me­dia in­clud­ing In­dia Strate­gic on the side­lines of the MAKS-2017 In­ter­na­tional Aero­space Show held near Moscow on July 18-23.

Rostec Cor­po­ra­tion - an um­brella or­gan­i­sa­tion of Rus­sian mil­i­tary-in­dus­rial com­plex along with the Rus­sian Fed­er­a­tion’s Trade and In­dus­try Min­istry was the main spon­sor of the 13th edi­tion of bi­en­nale MAKS, which 25 years ago started as Moscow Air Show.

“As for In­dia, it has been and re­mains our strate­gic part­ner. Every year we sup­ply prod­ucts

to In­dia for more than $ 2 bil­lion. Some­times it is more. There­fore, we have about the same vol­umes last year as be­fore. That is, there are changes, but in­signif­i­cant, some­where in the range of 10-15% is the fluc­tu­a­tion,” Mr Che­me­zov said and added : “With re­gard to co­op­er­a­tion with In­dia, it is aimed not only at sell­ing prod­ucts, but we are also trans­fer­ring tech­nol­ogy. It be­gan in the late 90’s with the sale of li­censes for SU-30MKIs. To­day th­ese planes are man­u­fac­tured in In­dia. The T-90S tank In­dia has al­ready mas­tered pro­duc­tion, we con­tinue to pro­vide as­sis­tance, we sup­ply the com­po­nents, but for the most it is al­ready lo­calised. Most re­cently we signed a con­tract for the joint pro­duc­tion of Ka-226T he­li­copters. We have to sup­ply a cer­tain amount, most will be lo­calised, in to­tal, in the amount of 200 he­li­copters. But in the fu­ture this amount can be in­creased. We are work­ing on the 5th gen­er­a­tion air­craft, the work con­tin­ues. That is, our co­op­er­a­tion is very wide.”

“As for the 5th gen­er­a­tion fighter - the work is un­der­way. Stage 1 is over. Now we are dis­cussing the 2nd stage. And I think that in the near fu­ture all de­ci­sions will be made. And the con­tract doc­u­ments will be signed. But the work is go­ing, it is very com­pli­cated, so it is not go­ing fast,” Mr Che­me­zov said re­spond­ing to a ques­tion about un­cer­tainty over FGFA project for the joint de­vel­op­ment of the fu­tur­is­tic stealth fighter based on Sukhoi’s T-50 PAK-FA.

Mr Che­me­zov un­der­scored that Rus­sia is the only coun­try which sup­plies all tech­nolo­gies to In­dia with­out strings at­tached cit­ing the ex­am­ple of Brah Mos cruise mis­siles the pro­duc­tion of which has been com­pletely lo­calised in In­dia.

Ac­cord­ing to him the de­gree of lo­cal­i­sa­tion in the pro­duc­tion of T 90S main bat­tle tanks at

Heavy Ve­hi­cles Fac­tory in Avadi ( Tamil Nadu) and Sukhoi Su- 30MKI at Nashik plant of the Hin­dus­tan Aero­nau­tics Lim­ited.

“That is a fairly large num­ber of projects - some have al­ready been im­ple­mented, some are be­ing im­ple­mented. Rus­sia is the only coun­try for In­dia which with­out any re­stric­tions trans­fers all tech­nolo­gies to it,” Mr Che­me­zov un­der­scored.

ON WEST­ERN SANC­TIONS

When asked about the af­fect of US-led West­ern sanc­tions over Rus­sia’s takeover of Crimea and in­ter­nal con­flict in East­ern Ukraine, Mr Che­me­zov con­ceded that his coun­try was fac­ing some prob­lems, but hopes to re­solve them soon.

It is well- known that all the top Rus­sian arms ex­porters and man­u­fac­tur­ers and their lead­er­ship in­volved in deal­ing with In­dia are un­der the US-led West­ern sanc­tions.

“As for the sanc­tions, of course the prob­lems were and still are, we are grad­u­ally solv­ing them, if we talk about those com­po­nents that we bought in Ukraine. Un­der the im­port sub­sti­tu­tion pro­gramme we will have to com­plete the re­place­ment of all com­po­nents by the end of 2018, we have al­ready com­pleted it by 90%. We now pro­duce th­ese com­po­nents our­selves. As for the parts we bought in Europe, we have now found other part­ners in the world and buy them, mak­ing some com­po­nents our­selves, and I think by 2020 we will fully com­plete the im­port sub­sti­tu­tion, I mean the Euro­pean com­po­nents. In Amer­ica, we did not buy any­thing,” Mr Che­me­zov told me­dia per­sons.

He thinks that in 1-2 years Rus­sia will close its re­quire­ments for com­po­nents ear­lier im­ported from Ukraine and EU coun­tries. He pointed that Rus­sia had ex­cel­lent re­la­tions with SAFRAN, THALES, BOE­ING, AIR­BUS, GEN­ERAL ELEC­TRIC, with whom it had joint ven­tures. Some of them con­tinue to work in­de­pen­dently of sanc­tions.

“Nev­er­the­less, many other part­ners wanted to con­tinue work with us. Un­for­tu­nately, be­cause of the sanc­tions, they can not do this. Life forced us to de­velop our in­dus­try even more, the re­sult you can ob­serve to­day. But they sim­ply lost the mar­ket, and not a small one. And through us mar­ket of other coun­tries in East Asia, Africa, Arab coun­tries as well. Af­ter all, our ex­port vol­ume does not fall, it is grow­ing every year, there has never been a drop, even due to sanc­tions,” Rostec CEO Sergei Che­me­zov noted.

Mr Putin in one of the ex­hi­bi­tion halls

Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin at the MAKS 2017 in­au­gu­ral cer­e­mony

A gen­eral view of MAKS 2017 air show

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