‘Aftersales Service Issue Solved’
Rosoboronexport CEO Aleksandr Mikheev spoke on defence ties with India during MAKS-2017, the 13th edition of the international air show hosted by Russia. During the last few years, the air show has seen dynamic growth. The event is now more organised and the entry list is stable – for both Russian and foreign participants, said Mikheev. Rosoboronexport covers quite a wide geographical area in the world, cooperating with a large number of countries. “We have ties with more than 100 countries and our contractual obligations are being fulfilled by 92 countries. We work within the limits of applicable laws of the Russian Federation and serve as a government dealer in supplies of military products,” said Mikheev.
Could you tell us about the status of the S-400 contract with India?
In October 2016 we signed a number of inter-governmental agreements, including the one with regard to S-400. As of today, we are carrying out technical consultations with the Indian party, we have already shown our equipment – both in the field, testing, range-practice conditions and in conditions of production plant and design bureaus. Rosoboronexport is performing all the works aimed at signing of the contract as soon as possible, based on the feedback from the Indian party. I’d like to note that today India does not have any such systems as S-400.
Could you tell us when you will start delivery of the new Mi-17 helicopters to India? Please give the numbers and the timeline?
Our Indian partners know the programme very well, they have more than 300 helicopters belonging to the Mi-8 and Mi-17 families. Now we are holding negotiations with a view to sign a contract for 48 helicopters. We are starting price and contract negotiations within the framework of the applicable Indian procedure, and we hope that we will reach an agreement before the end of this year.
Moreover, we are discussing a programme for modernisation of SU-30 with our Indian partners. The aircraft park is quite large. During a period of 15 years, we have fulfilled all our obligations to the Indian party, the HAL corporation – supplied quite a large aircraft park, about 200, under the licence agreement – and we are offering new developments of our design bureaus; moreover, the Indian Air Force has some requirements for improvement of performance and operational characteristics, mainly with regard to avionics, electronic warfare systems, as well as updates of weapon systems by both Indian and Russian companies. Today, we are already considering the capabilities of the Indian industry within the framework of the ‘Make in India’ programme. And a well-known project is a joint venture for K-226 helicopters; we will offer them to the Indian Ministry of Defence in the nearest future.
At the first Russian-Indian military-industrial conference, there were some questions concerning components, especially the problem with spare parts. Has the issue been solved?
Indeed, we had the industrial conference in March. It was attended by Mr. Denis Manturov, the Minister of Industry and Trade of Russia, and Mr. Arun Jaitley, the Indian Minister of Defence. This conference saw the participation of chief executives of our integrated structures of military-industrial complex. We have reached an agreement, the progress is evident. I think that it’s actually a big plus in our relations. We have agreed that the programme of aftersales services will be taken up by dedicated Russian holding companies in order to ensure the operation of previously supplied equipment throughout its lifecycle - 20, 30 or 40 years – whether it be a submarine, a helicopter, a tank, etc. We have specified six companies that will carry out direct cooperation with both operators of Russian equipment and Indian companies that will be charged with operating this equipment and manufacturing its spare parts. They are, United Shipbuilding Corporation, United Aircraft Corporation, Russian Helicopters, United Engine Corporation, Almaz-Antey and Tactical Missile Corporation.
Could you give us details on the volume of exports carried out by Rosoboronexport last year?
In 2016 we executed the plan of our supplies for US $ 13.08 billion. This year, the plan of supplies under Rosoboronexport contracts is US $ 12.9 billion. About 50% are equipment for air forces. And about 50% are meant for Middle East and North Africa, as well as India and China, which are our major customers. As for our colleagues from Latin America, you must see the Arctic helicopter, a new version of Mi-171SH made in Ulan-Ude, and K-226, the only coaxial helicopter in the world without a real anti-torque rotor. Maybe, in the future we will sell it via our joint venture in India too. These helicopters have some turbo parts – by the way, made by the French Safran Group. Well, combat aviation does not need to be advertised.