Russia is definitely struggling. Even without the economic sanctions of the USA and Europe, the Russian military industry suffers and will suffer negatives in the future. The war in Ukraine “devours” more than expected. If the problems with the production of land platforms, especially tanks, “lighted up” gradually over the past months, today the production of combat aircraft is taking the path of UralVagonZavod.
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India is a victim. Moscow notified New Delhi, by way of indication, that it could not fulfill requests for the supply of spare parts. The affected platforms are the Indian MiG-29UPG, Su-30MKI, IL-76, and AN-32 transport aircraft, as well as the Mi-17 helicopters.
This means that out of 554 active combat aircraft, 312 combat aircraft [247 Su-30MKI and 65 MiG-29 UPG] will suffer from a lack of or disrupted pre-planned maintenance. I.e. 56% of the Indian Air Force will not receive its service on time. As for Mi-17 helicopters, they represent 45% of all 496 helicopters in service in the Indian Air Force, including attack, heavy, utility, light utility, and utility transport.
How will India solve the problem?
New Delhi has officially acknowledged that Moscow has informed India’s military command that the delay in recent months is a fact because of the war in Ukraine, and most likely the situation will not improve but will worsen.
The Indian Air Force chief urged his subordinate commanding officers to develop a new strategy for servicing and maintaining operational readiness. He turned to state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited [HAL] for help. Apart from HAL, the Indian Air Force is looking for help from the private sector. Most likely, all companies connected in one way or another with military production at the regional level will be involved in the production of spare parts for the air platforms of the Indian Air Force.
The negative for Russia
Russia actually loses money from the sale of spare parts and maintenance of the listed aircraft. Money that Moscow would need especially now. The problem for Moscow is much longer term.
New Delhi will have to turn to Moscow with a request: if you cannot produce spare parts for us, we want to produce them under your license. This is excellent news for Moscow right now, and bad news now that the war with Ukraine is over. India will most likely get a license to manufacture Russian spare parts. This means that she will be able to make them herself.
On the other hand, Moscow will lose hundreds of millions, even billions coming from the Indian market. After the war, Moscow will receive much less from India than before the war with Ukraine. The blow is two-fold, as India will gain access to technologies that will allow the “sacred cow” country to do its own weapons development without any consent from Moscow.
No S-400 this year for India
The shortage of spare parts for the Indian Air Force is the second piece of bad news for India. Earlier this year it became clear that Moscow would not deliver the fourth battery of the S-400 anti-aircraft missile system. The reason is more than familiarly banal: the war in Ukraine.
India is not happy about this fact. It is not just an air defense system. It is a question of an air defense chain, in the foundations of which lay the Russian S-400 air defense systems ordered by India. Failure to deliver it this year means India will halt the process of building its air shield.
This is happening at a time when Washington and Beijing “stand on their toes” and the next big conflict is knocking on the door [Taiwan-China]. At the same time, India has another enemy on one of its borders – Pakistan. So, the fourth S-400, which apparently will not be delivered, is a problem, and a serious one at that.
BulgarianMilitary.com predicted this situation. We just didn’t think it would happen so soon.
At the beginning of April, we wrote that India will gain from the war in Ukraine. Despite the undelivered S-400, despite the lack of spare parts for Indian fighter jets, in the long run, India will become a much bigger military player and producer, not just in the region, but in the world.
Our report predicted that Moscow would have to meet New Delhi’s demands to get Indian consent to continue waging its war in Ukraine. But this war of Russia against India will be very costly. Russian arms technology licenses will start being issued to Indian companies like season tickets are issued for football championships – no problem, as long as you have the money.
India has money, but she doesn’t need it right now. India has a few goats up its sleeve at the moment and will use them. So, shortly, it is quite possible to see the production of components, parts, and entire technological units, not only for Russian combat aircraft but also for Russian air defense systems. Incidentally, the S-400 could become a Russian-Indian development.
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