Russia smearing Ukraine defense sector in attempt to win back Indian market

10:40, 06 March 2018
Economy
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REUTERS

Among its targets is Ukraine's defense industry, Defence Blog reports.

Russia seeks to press Ukraine's defense players out of India in order to compensate for its own losses. After all, India remains Ukraine’s largest trading partner in the field of military-technical cooperation. In the period from 2015 to 2017, Ukraine fulfilled contracts worth a total of some $400 million, including those on IAF's An-32 aircraft repair and gas turbine power units for warships.

UkrOboronProm's Zorya-Mashproekt alone has over the past three years supplied to India products totaling over $200 million, providing Indian ships with power units.

It is worth noting that within the framework of the agreements signed with Indian corporations, Ukraine is making more effort to win tenders within the “Make in India” program to receive orders from the Indian government in the field of aircraft manufacture and repair, modernization of armored vehicles, marine engineering maintenance, and UAV production and supply.

Read alsoUkraine showcases kamikaze-style RAM UAV at UMEX 2018 exhibit in UAEUkraine's SpecTechnoExport has successfully fulfilled its contract with HAL Corporation for the supply of beam holders. In December 2017, Ukraine saw another application for more beam holders supplies, and in February 2018, such order came from the Ministry of Defense of India totaling over $3 million.

It is noteworthy that it was in the framework of this contract that an information campaign against Ukraine was launched. Unverified and unconfirmed reports were spun on the Ukrainian company's alleged failure to fulfill the contract. The anti-Ukrainian campaign reached its peak during the active phase of negotiations with foreign contractors on the conclusion of a new contract for the supply of Ukrainian beam holders.

Read alsoSmear campaigns typical Russian tool to shove Ukraine from various marketsThis can be seen as a manifestation of dishonest and unfair competition on the part of Russia, which has been doing its utmost to reverse a negative trend for its defense companies on the Indian market.

Russia has lost to the Americans a number of key tenders on combat and heavy transport helicopters. Besides, the Indian-Russian Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft project is at risk of failure. Over the past eight years, the final aircraft design contract has not been signed as the Indians are reportedly not happy with weak engines, as well as its radar and stealth systems. The Indian side might end up closing down the whole project, opting for an American F-35. If India quits, Russia will have to reduce next-generation aircraft production due to lack of funds.

Read alsoUkraine ranks 77th in SIPRI Top 100 arms producersRussia also proved to be a rather unreliable partner in defense area. In December 2015, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India represented an expert opinion on the operation of Russian Su-30MKI fighters. According to the auditor’s report, 126 out of 210 fighter jets operated by Indian crews are grounded following malfunctions. According to the Indian Ministry of Defense, six aircraft have been lost since the start of operations.

In August 2016 came the reports that Russia had sold more defective fighter jets: MiG-29K and MiG-29KUB. According to the audit report, 62% of Russian engines are non-serviceable.

These cases show that Russia's import substitution program is in tatters. Given their use of components to almost all types of military equipment produced in NATO countries and EU, a set of sanctions made Russian engineers and designers face an obstacle now impossible to tackle simply over the lack necessary components.

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