Indo-Russian defence deals should further progress: Rosoboronexport
Avery vocal Deputy Director General of Rosoboronexport, the Russian defence export agency, Viktor M. Komardin began his interaction with the media at NAMEXPO 2013 in Kochi by stating that only Russia was predominant in the show. “Where are the other countries?,” he asked.
Taking his argument further, Komardin said India and Russia are ‘genetically friendly’ and ‘politics comes first and economics comes second’ in this relationship. Dismissing the question that India was moving away from Russia with regard to defence deals, he remarked ‘never judge by digits’. Indian imports with Russia are increasing and Russia has been transferring technologies.
“More than 70 warships have been built for India over 45 years of Russian-Indian cooperation in the naval sphere. Russia is providing assistance in designing and supplying systems and equipment for indigenously developed ships under construction in India. Among them are the Project 15A, 15B destroyers, Project 17 frigates and Project 71 aircraft carrier. In addition, Sevmash, part of USC, is completing the trials of the aircraft carrier Vikramaditya.”
On the medium multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA) deal, Komardin said the procurement of 126 Rafale aircraft had been delayed and that cost had almost double. “While the contract nego- tiations between the buyer and the lowest bidder would normally witness the buyer asking for further lowering of price, the MMRCA negotiations saw the price almost double. What does this mean?”
Komardin also said that the fifth-generation fighter aircraft being jointly developed by India and Russia would be ready in the next five years and it would be a generation ahead of the Rafale. As for the multi-role transport aircraft (MTA), developed by the Russian United Aircraft Corporation-Transport Aircraft and the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) under a joint venture, he said the project would take time to fructify as bureaucracy made processes cumbersome and difficult.
Regarding naval potential, he said the Russian companies were looking at deepening cooperation with India’s state and private manufacturers of naval equipment, in particular, the joint design and construction of new ships. Rosoboronexport was holding talks with its partners in South East Asia, where potential customers are showing interest in patrol boats and Project 22460E patrol ships, Gepard 3.9 class frigates, Bastion and Bal-E coastal defence missile systems, shipborne SAM and artillery systems, and anti-ship missiles.