Russia will allow long-term contracts for spares and support for military equipment supplied to India addressing a long-standing concern over serviceability of imported equipment.
“Russia has amended its laws permitting 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,” the Hindu quoted unnamed defense sources as saying Wednesday.
India is also discussing the possibility of Russian OEMs allowing license-manufacturing of spares in India by local vendors.
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.
"We have signed many contracts this year and also working on long-term arrangements including the manufacturing some of the spares in India. Earlier, there were some problems due to the need to change their [Russian] laws," Manohar Parrikar, India's Defense Minister said last week.
Russia is trying to rectify the delayed supply of spares for Russian made aircraft in India, primarily the Sukhoi Su-30MKI with a deal that would allow them to be manufactured locally.
The Indian Air Force (IAF) has finalized a long-term repair agreement with Russian original equipment manufacturers to improve the availability of aircraft for operational use. But it takes up to 18 months to deliver spare parts from Russia mainly due to complicated bureaucratic process and extensive documentation.
The government believes that a logistic hub will further improve the availability of Sukhoi-30 from the current 63 per cent.
Presently the Indian Air Force has more than 200 Su-30MKI fighters in its fleet and is expected to receive more by 2019.
India has contracted for the delivery of 272 Su-30MKI with Russia. 75 per cent of operational fighter aircraft in the IAF are of Russian origin. This includes MiG-21, MiG-27, MiG-29 and Su-30MKI fighter aircraft.