Monday, May 25, 2009

Defense: Russia loses $1bn mid-air refueller deal with India

Russia is set to lose USD 1 billion worth of defense deal for mid-air refuellers, which might signal an end to Moscow's 50-year monopoly over Indian military supply, Xinhua News Agency informs.

The Indian air force has decided not to field any more Russian Ilyushin-78 refuellers after operating such refuellers for six years, said the report.

The Indian Air Force wants instead to deploy Airbus A330 multi-role tanker transport, a military derivative of Airbus A330 airliner, offered by European aerospace corporation EADS, said the report.

Russia and EADS are competing for the USD 1 billion global tender floated three years ago by the defense ministry for six midair refuellers.

Indian air force chief Air Chief Marshal Fali Homi Major told the paper that India has finished all evaluations and selected theA330 tanker transport and the deal will come up for final approval by the Cabinet Committee on Security very soon.

He was also quoted as saying that the "Russian platform did not meet certain requirements."
The newspaper said cracks in the India-Russia defense relationship have existed for some time now, because of Russia's seeking of mid-course price revisions in contracts for Sukhoi-30 fighters and aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov.

Other problems include lack of steady supply of spares, poor vendor support and transfer of technology issues, said the paper.

Source: FOCUS Information Agency
Published by Mike Hitchen, Mike Hitchen Consulting
Putting principles before profits