India halts Ka-31 helicopter take care of Russia

NEW DELHI — India has halted negotiations with Russia for the previous to amass 10 Kamov Ka-31 airborne early warning helicopters for $520 million, following uncertainties in arms provides amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The Indian authorities indefinitely suspended the negotiations with Rosoboronexport and unique gear producer Russian Helicopters, an Indian Defence Ministry official informed Protection New on situation of anonymity. The official, who was not licensed to talk to the press, mentioned the government-to-government deal added that the suspension is because of considerations over Moscow’s capacity to execute orders in addition to points associated to cost transfers.

Indian Navy officers have mentioned the suspension represents a setback for the service as a result of the Ka-31 helicopters are wanted for the nation’s second plane provider INS Vikrant, which was domestically constructed and will likely be commissioned in July.

Amit Cowshish, a former monetary adviser for acquisitions with the ministry, mentioned the suspension is also resulting from geopolitical strain because the worldwide group condems Russia’s assault on Ukraine, which started Feb. 24. Different elements, he added, may embody budgetary constraints and India’s choice to amass domestically developed helicopters.

And a stalemate in negotiations over technical and monetary points may have additionally performed a task, he famous.

India requested to purchase Ka-31 helicopters from Russia in Could 2019, however the acquisition program confronted inordinate delays as a result of coronavirus pandemic and the platform’s excessive price ticket.

Acquisition talks resumed in February 2022 after negotiators settled on a value of $520 million for 10 Ka-31 helicopters, however the effort hit one other snag when officers couldn’t agree on a rupee-ruble foreign money mechanism.

The MoD official mentioned India’s central financial institution, Reserve Financial institution of India, has labored additional time since March 2022 to determine an alternate cost mechanism, however negotiators have been unable to come back to an settlement.

Neither ministry nor Navy officers would focus on whether or not India is exploring alternate options to the airborne early warning craft.

The Navy at the moment operates 14 Ka-31 helicopters, which had been inducted progressively — 4 in 2003, 5 in 2005 and 5 in 2013 — and are depending on the unique gear producer for spare components, repairs and overhaul help.

Vivek Raghuvanshi is the India correspondent for Protection Information.

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