Indo-Russian ties too deep to be affected by MiG-35 deal rejection: Kadakin

ANI

Russia’s Ambassador to India, Alexander M. Kadakin, has said that the Indian Government’s decision to reject his country’s MiG-35 fighter jets would not affect bilateral ties between the two countries.

Speaking in an exclusive interview to ANI on the sidelines of a function to mark Russia’s National Day, Ambassador Kadakin said: ” No, this (rejection of MiG 35 fighter jets) will not have any impact on the otherwise deep and traditional relations we (India and Russia) share. Of course, we were disappointed, but it is India’s sovereign choice.

Ambassador Kadakin, however, maintained that the MiG 35 fighter jets, which were offered by Russia to India along with other international bids for 126 combat fighter jets, were the best.

“We know our machines are the best. That is the proof of the pudding is in the eating. Russian planes have always been best,” Ambassador Kadakin said, suggesting that the true value or quality of something can only be judged when it’s put to use.

It maybe recalled that the Indian Government had asked for bids for the 11 billion dollar Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) contract. Apart from Russia, the United States, France and Sweden made their bids. The final contenders to deliver 126 jets are the Rafale, made by France’s Dassault Aviation, and the Eurofighter Typhoon.

Senior Indian Air Force (IAF) officials have said that Russia’s Rosoboronexport and MiG design bureau were informed about the perceived drawbacks of the Russian offer, which included the engines.

The Indian Air Force has decided to look beyond Moscow for spares for its inventory of Russian systems.

The defense ministry recently issued global tenders worth several million dollars to international suppliers to reload its stocks of spares for its Russian-made MiG-23, MiG-27 and MiG-29 combat aircraft; IL-76 heavy-lift transports; IL-78 midair refuelers; all Mi-series helicopters; Pechora and OSA-AK air defense missiles and P-18 and P-19 radars.

The IAF has pointed out that delays in Russian after-sales support for military equipment are hurting the country’s battle readiness.

The IAF also has problems with the serviceability of its MiG series, leading to the government informing parliament in February this year that it was planning to phase out the accident-prone fighter jets by 2017, when modern aircraft would be inducted.

The Russia National Day celebrations included honouring Wing Commander Rakesh Sharma (retired), the first Indian to fly into space.

In April 1984, Sharma, then a Squadron Leader with the Indian Air Force, was part of a historic joint space program between the Indian Space Research Organisation and the Soviet Intercosmos space program.

He spent eight days in space aboard the Salyut 7 space station. By Praful Kumar Singh

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Posted by pilotpaul on Jun 13 2011. Filed under All News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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