India's call for 126 fighter jets, the most expensive arms tender in history, is close to failure as Delhi faces a shortage of funds. This gives Russia a chance to catch up. If the contract is canceled, Moscow, which lost the tender in the spring, will again be able to offer Delhi MiG-35s - which, despite the fact that they are inferior, in the opinion of the Indians, to European aircraft in terms of combat qualities, most meet the initial financial conditions among all six bidders.
The Indian financial crisis, according to the Vedomosti newspaper, is also evidenced by the fact that the winner of the "tender of the century" was not announced on time. First, the Indian Ministry of Defense promised to do this in September, then the announcement of the decision was postponed to November. December was the new deadline, but so far the authorities have not made a report.
Now, according to India Strategic magazine, Ashok Gol, a retired marshal of the Indian Air Force, said that the winner of the "mother of all tenders" (exactly as the competition is called in the Indian media) could be announced in January.
Let us remind you that the Russian side in the "tender of the century" announced in 2006 suffered a crushing defeat this spring. This and the fall in the agreement for the supply of Mi-28N "Night Hunter" to India was called by analysts as the eve of Moscow's loss of leadership in the Indian arms market. In April, it became known that the Russian-made MiG-35 lost to the manufacturers of fighters Eurofighter Typhoon and Rafale (France) - the deal was estimated at more than $ 10 billion.
In addition to French and Russian aircraft, the Swedish Gripen as well as the American F-18 and F-16 took part in the tender. In November, it was announced that the value of the contract had increased to $ 20 billion.
Europeans are not going to surrender without a fight, therefore they seduce Delhi with technologies
A source close to the Rosoboronexport management told the Vedomosti newspaper that next year India will either announce the winner or cancel the tender altogether due to the reassessment of its own financial capabilities. Officially, the situation in the Indian Ministry of Defense has not been commented on.
As Konstantin Makienko, an expert at the Center for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies, explained to the publication, the cancellation of the tender is very likely, since the amount for the supply of French or European fighters exceeds $ 20 billion planned by India. In addition, the situation is exacerbated by the fact that the growth rates of the Indian economy have recently significantly slowed down.
Vedomosti notes that the manufacturers of Eurofighter Typhoon are not going to withdraw from the deal yet and are offering Delhi a compromise option. According to Indian Express, David Cameron, Prime Minister of Great Britain, Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany, Mario Monti, Prime Minister of Italy and Mariano Rahoy Bray, Prime Minister of Spain, wrote to Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India, a letter in which they promised to transfer India related technology.
India is not yet ready to abandon Russian weapons
Until recently, Russia was India's largest supplier of arms and armaments. Recently, due to Moscow's failures in tenders, analysts have begun to talk about the loss of leadership and Indian attempts to get out of dependence on Russia in this matter.
However, most likely, the Indian authorities are aware of the inexpediency of such a step. In any case, Delhi clearly signaled this during the visit of Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India, to Moscow.
Thus, it was reported that an agreement was reached to sign an agreement in the near future to purchase a large batch of Su-30 MKI fighters. Ajay Malhotra, the Indian ambassador to Russia, said that it was not an existing contract that was being discussed, but a new contract for the supply of Su-30 MKI fighters. According to sources, we are talking about kits intended for the assembly of 230 fighters of this type by the aircraft building corporation HAL.