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India neglected Russia in favor of the USA and Europe

India could get at least 95 Russian fighters instead of 36 French jets.

Submitted by Adomas Abromaitis, via The Baltic Word…

Once the main importer of the Soviet and then Russian weapons and military equipment, India turned out to be an unstable and unreliable partner for Moscow.

The breach of contracts and deals by New Delhi has become a routine and it seems that it does not surprise Russian partners.

India, perfectly understanding the mutual interest in relations with Russia, nevertheless is actively seeking ways to fruitful contacts with both Europe and the United States. There is an element of some kind of financial blackmail, when due to the presence of two or more sellers, the buyer forces one of them to dump prices.

One of such examples is the fact that the Indian authorities preferred to buy French Rafale fighter jets for the needs of their Air Force, instead of the Russian Su-30MKI (Flanker-N, according to NATO codification).

French aircraft maker Dassault Aviation has handed over a total of three Rafale multirole fighter aircraft to the Indian Air Force (IAF) thus far, the Indian government said in a November 20 statement.

The three aircraft are reportedly being used to train IAF pilots and technicians in France.

The first batch of four Rafale aircraft is expected to arrive in India in May 2020. Eighteen Rafale fighter jets will serve in the IAF’s 17 Squadron at Ambala Air Force Station. The second batch of 18 aircraft will serve in the IAF’s 101 Squadron at Hasimara Air Force Station in northeastern India. The first squadron is expected to become operational by February 2021.

The choice is usually influenced by price and political factors. Russian experts express perplexity.

As far as the price is concerned, the purchase of Su-30MKI fighters in Russia is about 50 million per unit. Each French Rafale (fourth generation) costs India $ 218 million.

That is, India could get at least 95 Russian fighters instead of 36 French jets.

Thus, the price, apparently, did not affect the choice.

From the political point of view, the “French choice” is also not clear for Moscow. Especially when you consider that at the recent Eastern economic forum in Vladivostok, Russian President Vladimir Putin and India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi noted the huge potential of the two countries in the military field.

Thus, Russian experts can conclude that India’s weapon’s procurement system is highly corrupted or Indian authorities are forced to make such choices.

The more so, the State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to India of up to thirteen (13) MK 45 5 inch/62 caliber (MOD 4) naval guns and related equipment for an estimated cost of $1.0210 billion. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale on November 19, 2019.
The Government of India has requested to buy up to thirteen (13) MK 45 5 inch/62 caliber (MOD 4) naval guns and three thousand five hundred (3,500) D349 Projectile, 5”/54 MK 92 MOD 1 Ammunition.

Also included are other ammunition, spare parts, personnel training and equipment training, publications and technical data, transportation, U.S. Government and contractor technical assistance and other related logistics support. The total estimated cost is $1.0210 billion.

The proposed sale is to improve India’s capability to meet current and future threats from enemy weapon systems. The MK-45 Gun System will provide the capability to conduct anti-surface warfare and anti-air defense missions while enhancing interoperability with U.S. and other allied forces.

Thus, Indian authorities consider interoperability with the U.S. more important than with Russia. It could be the greatest India’s mistake forever.

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Tom Welsh
Tom Welsh
November 25, 2019

“As far as the price is concerned, the purchase of Su-30MKI fighters in Russia is about 50 million per unit. Each French Rafale (fourth generation) costs India $ 218 million.

“That is, India could get at least 95 Russian fighters instead of 36 French jets”.

That arithmetic makes no sense at all. Obviously $218 million is well over 4 times $50 million (to be exact, 4.36 times as much). Therefore India could get about 156 Sukhois for the price of 36 Rafales.

If you can’t do simple mental arithmetic, the spreadsheet is your friend.

edding
edding
Reply to  Tom Welsh
November 25, 2019

Agreed. Your math clearly makes sense, but I think there is more to the calculation than that alone. However, as Russian technology in other fields catches up to (or surpasses) that of the US and West, and Russia’s global influence increases, Russia will have more leverage.

Also, don’t forget that India is in BRICS, and the SCO and ASEAN and has regional relationships with Russia that will only expand over time.

Jack_Garbo
Jack_Garbo
Reply to  Tom Welsh
November 26, 2019

The Rafale price seems high, $120M is closer, making it a bit over twice the price of the Su30MKI. Though the Rafale’s an excellent all-purpose aircraft, the Su is cheaper, more reliable and is being locally built. So, political purchase?

DannyC
DannyC
Reply to  Jack_Garbo
November 26, 2019

definitely a political purchase. I think theyre trying to maintain close ties with the West. the Russian jet is the better deal, but they’ve already drawn some ire for purchasing the S-400. they probably don’t want to push it and get sanctioned.

edding
edding
November 25, 2019

Good article. One might note in addition that India has also established a close relationship with Israel, so one could easily expect India to tilt more to the West at this time. However, Russia, by putting no pressure on India and standing ready to become its primary ally again, has provided an opportunity for India to extract more benefit from its relationship with the US than it might not otherwise be able to extract, and serves as a warning to the West that India would be welcome to change its allegiance at any time. India’s interests are not only re:… Read more »

TDR RUsov
TDR RUsov
November 25, 2019

Come on, people. It’s obvious.
India got s-400, they want another manufacturer for their jets. They’re aware that China and Russia have a solid relationship, and don’t want to put their eggs in one basket. India’s context is different to that of Turkey. Indians made a smart move to buy the French planes.

ManintheMoon
ManintheMoon
Reply to  TDR RUsov
November 25, 2019

I agree. I’d also point out that India is buying French not American planes. Macron is proving a bit less US-compliant than his predecessors, so maybe there is a message here too. It is also interesting that India was not ‘penalised’ for buying the S 400 by not being allowed to buy NATO planes, which backfired with Turkey when the US bluff was called and they lost a lucrative order for F35s. The Russians are playing a long game and can afford to wait for the cards to fall their way.

Blackeyes
Blackeyes
Reply to  ManintheMoon
December 17, 2019

The brave zio-IDF is also flying Rafale. I’d say, in this game we are talking about, US is dependent on zio-Israhell. India welcomes Israhell as a weapon supplier as well.
India buys Rafale instead of SU-57s.
IMO, the flip-flop Mr Modi needs the zionists to teach him how to handle recent occupied Kasmir.
How convenient both Israhell and India are flying the same fighterjets.
Over Kasmir?

edding
edding
Reply to  TDR RUsov
November 26, 2019

Exactly, they don’t want to put their eggs in one basket.

DannyC
DannyC
November 26, 2019

I think its good to hedge yourself a bit if youre India. Don’t want to be totally in one corner. They just purchased a few batteries of S-400, might as well diversify a bit. It also keeps them from making Washington totally crazy. Im sure they see what Turkey is dealing with and as a major economy, its best to keep the peace with both sides. These aren’t garbage F-35’s, the French jet is actually pretty solid. Russia will still be an ally. This is a political move and it makes sense.

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