Tuesday, December 25, 2012

EXCLUSIVE! OPINION -From Russia with Love

Neelam Mathews
Dec 25, 2012
Even as India signs for 42 more Sukhoi 30-MKIs which will take the total in the IAF  inventory to 270 along with 100 Migs and  plans to add Fifth Gen fighters,  is raising eyebrows on whether the MMRCA will really take off in its present form. Maybe the French will sell us the 50 Rafales their air force cancelled? Who knows? And one wonders, who cares, except the military.
Slowly but steadily, it seems pretty clear we are turning back to Russia for our arms procurement. At least it looks like that even as contracts like the MRTT and LUH lie in cold storage. We are told the kitty is empty to pay for the first installment of the MMRCA. We are also told HAL needs to be clear what it can and cannot do. We are informed Dassault wants to deal with a private partner that in turn seems to have little inclination nor the resources to tap tier 2 and 3 business which may or may not be available as yet in the country. So where do we stand?
A large portion of the blame goes to the offsets policy that looks great on paper but is not taking shape by way of assurances to vendors on IPR and  the way audits will be conducted on transfer of technology. And then there's the issue of making the policy retroactive.......the list is endless. We are now hearing OEMs such as Boeing are in no hurry to supply additional equipment till some clauses on offsets are more transparent. (This could not be confirmed)The penalties for not fulfilling the offsets are much too dear to take a chance. And can you blame the OEMs? After all, nobody really wants to be mentioned in the archives of CAG reports despite  clearances given by the government. Take the example of Tatra. One never knows who will turn the tables on whom and when- such is the nature of the business.
A two-penny tip from us- to start with- officials may like to start picking up their phones to answer queries from people still interested in doing business with India (http://aerospacediary.blogspot.in/2012/12/ring-ring-ring-rrrrrrrrrzzzzzzz.html) .
Here's a clip from Russia with Love to entertain you on Christmas Day!


  1. is there any particular reason why on clicking any link to your page, one is taken to the bottom of the page? One has to scroll back to the top to start reading your post. Irritating.

  2. Thank You for your feedback. My apologies. Will try to sort this out. Cheers. have a great 2013!