India and Russia signed two long term agreements to address a long-lasting concern that we have with respect to original equipment manufacturers.
The agreement addresses life cycle support and maintenance issues of the Sukhoi fighter aircraft fleet.
At the first India-Russia Military Industrial Conference that was held in the national capital. The deal was signed between Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) from India and the United Aircraft Corporation and United Engine Corporations of Russia.
Concerns that were raised:
- Most of our defense platforms are of Russian origin
- From the point of view of our defense preparedness, maintenance and life cycle support of our existing defense systems is extremely important
- We have been facing issues in timely supply of spare parts and other components
- This creates a situation in which all our fighter aircraft squadrons are not operational at the same time
- The serviceability rate of Su-30 fighter jets remains a cause of concern
Precursor to the deal:
- Russian legislation that permitted companies to enter into direct agreements with foreign companies for long-term support
- Procurement of spares is long and cumbersome, as under the current process India cannot deal directly with original equipment manufacturers but has to deal with designated intermediaries
- India remains one of the largest importer of defense equipment and urgent measures should be taken to overcome the anomalies that we face in this regard
Challenges to India’s defense modernization:
- The Indian defense industry suffers from structural challenges that inhibits our ability to deliver modern defense hardware
- Systemic flaws in Indian defence establishment and civil-military relations present a major challenges
- As an aspiring world power, it lags autonomy and self-sufficiency in developing advanced defense hardware and technology
- Private sector has not provided the support that is needed from them as strategic partners
- Lack of sophisticated weapon systems
- Issues of corruption in defense deals which slows down the whole procurement process