Russia has amended its laws, allowing long-term contracts for spares and support for military equipment supplied to India. This will address long-standing concerns on the serviceability of the imported equipment.
In the next step, India is also discussing the possibility of Russian Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) allowing licence-manufacture of spares locally by Indian vendors.
“Russia has amended its laws permitting lot of their OEMs to enter into long-term agreements for spares with our companies. The ministry is now drawing up a list of the OEMs, which are related to the platforms we have in service,” defence sources said on Wednesday.
Currently, procurement of spares is a long and cumbersome process as India cannot deal directly with the OEMs but with designated intermediaries like Rosoboronexport. The change in law does away with that.
Sources stated that once the ministry verifies which OEMs supplying hardware to India are on the list, the two sides would enter into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). “They will then give a price catalogue based on which we will negotiate a final agreement,” the sources added.
A constant concern ::
Indian military largely constitutes platforms and equipment of Russian origin and a constant concern has been the availability of spares for them.
To address this, the two countries began discussions for a long-term agreement on spares for five years, which would ensure quick delivery of spares and support from the OEMs.
One of the biggest beneficiaries of this will be the frontline Su-30MKI fighter jets of the Indian Air Force, the serviceability of which had at one time fallen below 50 per cent, which means less than half of the over 210 jets in service were available for operational deployment.