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Russia Lost Indian Sky

Russia Lost Indian Sky
30.04.2011

Russia lost the largest in this century arms tender for delivery to India of medium multi-role combat aircraft, where it exposed MiG-35 being modernization of MiG-29. The transaction provides delivery of 126 fighters and is estimated in more than 10 billion dollars. Two applicants for a victory remain: French Rafale and Eurofighter Typhoon which represents the Italian-English-European consortium.

During quarter of the century MiG-29, having endured a set of modernizations, was considered as the best fighter in its class. However, no matter how many plusses add, it is the fighter of the fourth generation, while batch production of the first fighter of the fifth generation F-22 has been already finished in the USA, they've been preparing new series.

However all impropriety of the situation is that MiG-35 has lost the tender to the European planes which even at the moment of the beginning of their working out were perceived only as attempt to catch up with Russia which by the time started batch production of MiG-29.

What did guided India when it was making the choice preferring out-of-date vehicles of the European manufacture in front of out-of-date Russian one? The more so MiG-35 won against competitors at the expense of lower price and was well-known in the world market, having proved to be good in real operations. India gave Russia the largest defensive contracts: on aircraft carrier "Admiral Gorshkov" and all formation of MiG-29K to it, on frigates and rent of a nuclear submarine. Delhi signed with Moscow the contract for creation of cruise missiles BrahMos and new transport aircraft MTA. The most important thing - India already declared about joint with the Russian Federation development of the fighter of the fifth generation.

That is to explain this unexpected decision by reasons of purely defensive character is difficult enough - even simple question of unification of military technique makes purchase of the European fighters fairly sensible. It means that the matter is not in interests of defense but in higher spheres of foreign policy.

Russia loses the Indian market and in general influence on India which gradually turns from the younger partner to geopolitical competitor of the Russian Federation in Asia. Moscow is guided by Beijing, while Delhi which has traditionally intense relations with the Peoples Republic of China does a turn towards the West. The more so the contract on aircraft carrier Russia has been regularly breaking for many years and Delhi has quite well-founded doubts if the Russian capacities are simply capable to execute the contract on delivery of such quantity of fighters in the term specified.

As a matter of fact, Russia loses India, it is real failure of foreign policy of the Kremlin.

As to the contract itself - for Russian Aircraft Corporation MIG it can appear to be the last blow which will ruin nice history of once leading developer and producer of aviation equipment. "MIG" remains a legend but ceases to be real enterprise that, basically, is logical - for the regional power into which Russian has turned such producer is above its strength and is too expensive. After import making component of the Russian Aircraft Corporation MIG will cease to be interesting, the company will be simply merged with "Sukhoj" - actually it has already lost own capacities, now it is only necessary to close Development Design Office named after Mikoyan, having transformed it into the office on service support of the contracts signed earlier.

А.B.

 

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