Experts believe that Rostec is “blowing on the water”, saying that the delivery of the S-400’s are not consistent.
Written by Andrej Rezchikov, and Michael Moshkin; Originally appeared at Vzglyad, translated by Theo N. Kaufman exclusively for SouthFront
Indian Defense Ministry has alerted that the contract for the supply of advanced Russian air defense systems S-400 “Triumph” has already been signed, this was refuted by Rostec head Sergei Chemezov. It seems that the Indian military was ahead of the event, without waiting for a political solution. Whatever it was, Delhi shows interest in the “Triumph”, without looking at the alternatives of China and US, which is met by displeasure with the former two.
Head of Rostec, Chemezov refuted the Indian side, and told that the contract with India for the delivery of the advanced anti-aircraft missiles (SAM), S-400 “Triumph” have not yet been concluded.
Earlier Wednesday, the head of the Defense Ministry of India Manohar Parrikar, said that Russia and India signed an agreement on the supply of the S-400 in Delhi and both parties expect that the deliveries will start soon. “Hard to tell. As soon as possible “, – said Indian Defense Minister, answering the question of when the delivery may begin.
“Blowing on the water”
The current differences between the versions set out by the Ministry of Defence of India and Rostec, can be explained by the fact that Delhi made an appropriate political decision and now continues with its details, says Boris Volkhonsky, the head of the Asian region of the Russian Institute of Strategic Studies (RISS). “The signing was expected for a long time – even during the December visit of Narendra Modi in Moscow – recalled the expert of LOOK newspaper. – But, probably, as always, there was a consistent fluctuation about the prices, and terms of delivery”.
In India, you have a complex and extremely-bureaucratic, ponderous decision-making system, in turn, noted the executive director of the Union of Russian gunsmiths Ruslan Pukhov. “Therefore, the conclusion of the contract does not necessarily mean its performance. Hence, it is possible that Sergey Chemezov is blowing on water – in the best sense of the word. The fact that the contract is concluded, does not mean that it will be executed. Parameters can change such as the conditions, the sum of prepayments etc … “- said mr. Pukhov from VIEW newspaper.
Contract worth 10 billion dollars
S-400 “Triumph” – a Russian anti-aircraft missile system of large and medium-range missiles, designed to defeat air targets: aircraft tactical and strategic aircraft, jammers such as “AWACS”, cruise missiles, including those carried out with the use of “stealth” technology, as well as ballistic missiles with a launch range of up to 3.5 thousand. kilometers, hypersonic targets and other current and future air threats at ranges of up to 400 kilometers.
About a possible sale of this air defense system to India became known on November 3 last year, when the Indian media reported: Moscow and Delhi have agreed to conclude the largest bilateral transaction in the defense sector. It was mentioned that it could be a contract for the supply of S-400 in the amount of $ 10 billion. From various reports Indian media indicated that the authorities are planning to buy 5, and according to other sources, 12 “Triumph” complexes.
On December the 24th, 2015 Vzglyad.ru reported that during the first state visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Russia the question of deliveries to India S-400 was not resolved, but it was decided to continue the negotiations.
It was known that on the eve of the visit of Modi, the Committee on Procurements of the Indian government, approved the allocation of money to buy these weapons systems. However, at the same time, the Indian press had warned that Moscow and New Delhi have not yet agreed on a price. Asked by a reporter of the newspaper VIEW, if the cost did not pose an obstacle, as of why the parties have not agreed on the C-400, Sergei Chemezov, dropped a fun surprise: “Why did we not agree? We have not started yet! “- and he made it clear that the deal is still possible.
On March the 29th, there were reports that Russia has prepared a draft agreement for the supply of S-400 “Triumph” to India, it is now considered by the Government.
Finally, on the 18th of April, Assistant to the President for Military-Technical Cooperation, Vladimir Kozhin said that India along with China is interested in buying Russian air defense system with representatives of Beijing and Delhi negotiating, but Moscow would first meet the needs of the Russian Armed Forces.
In early April, the Russian Defense Ministry reported that a new set of anti-aircraft missile systems, S-400 entered service in the Moscow-based air defense regiment.
Trading in the arms “market”
According to media reports, it is in the interest of India to buy the Russian air defense systems, including S-400, which has been effective during the operations in Syria and the presence of the new system in the neighboring country of China. Experts say that the Indian side could also convince the Russian partners to make an exception for them to supply the S-400.
In 2014, China has already signed a contract with Russia to buy four of these SAMs at $ 2 billion. It is planned that the first batch of S-400 will travel to China in 2017. The interest in the acquisition of modern air defense system is shown in the traditional rivalry between India – Pakistan.
As noted by Boris Volkhonsky, China and Pakistan will obviously not be happy about such a deal between Moscow and New Delhi, but “it does not concern them”. According to him, this weapon can hardly affect Pakistan as “India’s advantage in all types of conventional weapons are so great that the new supplies will not change anything there”. “On the part of China it may pose some difficulties, but it is our relationship with India. In this case, the Chinese are not affected”- he explained.
It should be noted that the issue of the supply of Russian arms to India became the subject of speculation by representatives of another interested party. In a January report, by Stratfor, which is an American analytical center, it stated that over the past five years, Russia (whose share previously accounted for up to 70% of the delivered weapons to India), is rapidly losing ground in the arms market.
In particular, as stated in the report, in jeopardy, are the co-production of multipurpose transport aircraft (MTA) – a project that is potentially valued at $ 1 billion.
Stratfor’s experts, stated that the Russian suppliers are being displaced by competitors from the USA, Israel and South Korea. The objective is simple – as India accounts for about 15% of all purchased weapons worldwide.
It should be noted that, recently, from April the 10th till the 12th, the Indian military “courted” the Pentagon chief Ashton Carter, who visited Delhi. Logistics Support Agreement (LSA) – was signed during the visit, of the US Secretary of Defense, in particular, they signed a preliminary agreement on cooperation in military logistics. In addition, according to TASS, they discussed various aspects of further deliveries of American weapons.
“In terms of the supply of new US weapons are closely the positions of Russia” – says Stratfor, according to Volkhonsky’s assessment. – But because during the Soviet period and much of the post-Soviet period, the basic quantities of arms supplied from Russia, it is not only the supply of new weapons, but also its service. There is a strong Russian position. ” The interlocutor points out that India has for many years been trying to diversify its sources of supply of military equipment, in particular, New Delhi announced a tender for multi-role fighters”.
We add that, as noted in the February report of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), Russia along with the United States maintain a leading position in the field of arms exports. And most of the Russian deliveries from 2011 to 2015 were to India – 39%. Russia holds 25% of the global arms trade market, the US – 33%, and during the past five years, US arms export grew by 27%.