NEW DELHI, May 26 (RIA Novosti) - India has dropped Russia from a $1-bln tender to supply six aerial tankers for the Indian Air Force due to poor after-sales maintenance services, the Hindustan Times cited the air force chief as saying.
The Indian Air Force has been operating a fleet of Russian Il-78 aerial tankers for six years and announced a global tender for an additional six aircraft three years ago. The Russian Il-78 and the European Airbus A330 MRTT were the contenders.
"We have finished all evaluations and selected the A330 MRTT. The deal will come up for final approval by the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) very soon. The Russian platform did not meet certain requirements," Air Chief Marshal Fali Homi Major said in an interview with the Hindustan Times published on Monday.
Major said India was not satisfied with the level of after-sales service provided by Russia.
"After the disintegration of the Soviet Union, Russia has changed the whole pattern of doing defense business. Now we are faced with issues concerning spares, vendor support and built-in delays in the structure of their centralized military corporations," he said.
Although India remains a key buyer of Russian weaponry, bilateral military-technical ties have been overshadowed by recent spats over problems with supplies of spare parts, poor sales support, steep maintenance costs and technology transfer issues.
The A330 MRTT (Multi Role Tanker Transporter) is manufactured by EADS on the basis of the A330 passenger airliner. The first A330 MRTT will be delivered to the IAF within three years of signing the deal, with the remaining five to be supplied up to 15 months later, the newspaper said.
Add to blog
You may place this material on your blog by copying the link.
Image Galleries: Yury Gagarin: A down-to-earth person
Infographics: The Linguistic Diversity of the Planet
The President talked about sincerity as a fundamental value that can effectively counter the harsh information war waged against Russia by Ukraine on behalf of the US, and, to a lesser extent, the EU. Russia has moderated its response, helping Ukraine and the US to shine, as the saying goes, in all their beauty and ugliness.