rediff.com
Skip to content


Russia takes India’s MMRCA decision calmly

Amidst the temper tantrums and wailings and grunts of the American-Indian lobby about the Indian decision not to award the $ 10 billion MMRCA [Multi-Role Combat Aircraft] contract to Boeing or Lockheed, we all but forgot that an old “time-tested friend” also received the same bad news from our Defence Ministry as Uncle Sam got — Russia.
In fact, Russians have been hit much harder than the Americans by the Indian decision.
Yet Moscow has chosen not to dramatise the situation or let avarice take hold of reasoning. The Russians have given a civilised repsonse that it was after all India’s exclusive right to choose the aircraft supplier it needed. Again, Pravda.ru wrote: “The decision by the Indian Defence MInistry is extremely important for the whole world market. Russia’s defeat in the tender virtually means that Russia’s Air Force will not be receiving those fighter jets either. It may also mean that Russia’s chances to sell the jets to someone else in the world has decreased considerably, observers say.” The report claimed that Russian Defence Ministry was planning to purchase not less than 72 MiG-35. But now the price of those fighter jets may turn out to be too high for the home market after the loss of the Indian tender. “If Delhi had purchased the Russian jets, the largest contract would have given an opportunity to set the domestic price for the jet a lot lower. It now seems unnecessary to develop the production of MiG-35 jets for a relatively small order from the Russian Defence Ministry. Most likely, Russia will have to shelve those plans. The loss also questions the scope for promotion of the aircraft in other markets – in Latin America and in the Middle East.”
The Russian media said the MOD’s letter rejecting the Russian bid gave a “detailed analysis of the drawbacks of the Russian offer. One of the claims is reportedly about the engines.” The reports acknowledged that Russia, US, UK, France all lobbied at the highest level of leadership. “However, India made the choice which it considered right for itself – in favour of Europe.” The Russian reports admit that, ironically, Moscow too was quietly confident of winning the MMRCA contract – just as US ambassador Tomothy Roemer apparently was. Which means our people kept matters really under wraps all through and kept everyone guessing. This was exactly what Defence Minister A.K.Antony had promised – that the tender will be evaluated in clinical detachment, strictly on the merits of the bids. Kudos to the IAF for doing a masterly job.
The Russian interpretation, on the whole, is that India has taken a well-thought out strategic decision in opting for the European aircraft, which is why MiG-35 although the cheapest bid (around 40 million dollars per piece) lost to Rafael although the French bid at 79.5 million dollars per aircraft was the most expensive bid.
By the way, neither the Russian nor the Swedish ambassador is emulating Ambassador Roemer’s example of self-sacrifice because India couldn’t accept their countries’ offers to sell fighter aircraft.

Posted in Diplomacy, Military, Politics.

Tagged with , , .


3 Responses

Stay in touch with the conversation, subscribe to the RSS feed for comments on this post.

  1. sachin2302 says

    The only reason Russia is silent on the rejection of its fighter aircraft, is because of the way the Russians mis-treated India over the Gorshkov deal; literally looting India by unilaterally jacking up the price from $947 million to USD 2.3-billion. And this huge amount for a damaged ship -a boiler room explosion in 1994 had forced the Russian navy to dock the ship for a year of repairs, and later she was finally withdrawn from service in 1996 and offered for sale to India.

  2. Subramaniam Ragunathan says

    It is not the time tested MIGs, or world renowned F-16s or !8s, it will be the European- French version with lot of Italian connxns. One more scandal is likely to be on card and poor AKA whose indecisive way of working may be the scpagoat at the alter of corruption for which this UPA is world famous.

  3. shilpy says

    congress = conrruption.
    everybody knows that, anthony or no anthony.
    it makesno sense to spend twice the money on quatrochi connected european suppliers.

You must be logged in to post a comment.



Copyright © 2014 Rediff.com India Limited. All rights Reserved.  
Terms of Use  |   Disclaimer  |   Feedback  |   Advertise with us