Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin visited India last week. During this visit, a number of projects of promising cooperation in the military-industrial sphere and the sphere of joint space exploration were discussed. It is noteworthy that both the Russian and Indian authorities consider the agreements that were reached during Rogozin's visit to India as truly significant and aimed at long-term cooperation.
One of the proposals that the Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian government made in New Delhi was a proposal to the Indian side to jointly work on the GLONASS global navigation system. At the same time, Rogozin himself emphasizes that the proposals for GLONASS are of the nature of an equal partnership. In other words, Indian business, together with the achievements of Indian specialists, could take part in the formation of a project that is still considered exclusively Russian. And this is, indeed, a very tempting offer, because, in fact, the Indian side is invited to become an accomplice in the implementation of an ambitious project, and not just use its final product, implemented only by Russian specialists.
It is worth recalling here that before Rogozin's arrival in India, there was an agreement between this country and the Russian Federation, signed in January 2007. Under this agreement, India was given the opportunity to use a part of the GLONASS radio frequency spectrum for solving its problems. Based on this agreement, it was decided to use the Russian global positioning system in Indian transport. For this purpose, the Russian company NIS GLONASS registered a subsidiary structure of NIS GLONASS Pvt Ltd. in the Indian city of Mumbai. It happened at the end of last year - beginning of this year. It would seem that the revenues from the project could already be recalculated in the Russian budget, but everything turned out to be not so cloudless at all. Competitors in the face of British, Singaporean and Italian companies immediately appeared on the horizon, intending to make their proposals to the Indian side, which put a tangible obstacle in front of the Russian project. As a result, the victory in the tender in which the Russian company participated could be far from being in Russian hands.
Apparently, in order to tip the scales finally and irrevocably in the direction of Russia, Dmitry Rogozin decided to make an offer to the Indian side, which, indeed, is difficult to refuse. It is unlikely that the Indians should expect from the British or Singaporeans that they will offer New Delhi to participate on an equal footing in their projects, and not just be content with the final product produced abroad. Russia has taken such a step, and therefore it remains to await the decision of the Indian leadership and business.
However, the GLONASS topic in the meetings between Dmitry Rogozin and the Indian leadership was far from the only one. The materials published by the Indian side report on agreements on the modernization by India of Russian military equipment purchased earlier, as well as on Russia's participation in Indian projects on mutually beneficial terms. More precisely, many of, shall we say, old agreements have taken on a new form after a series of rough edges between the two sides.
In particular, Dmitry Rogozin discussed in New Delhi the prospect of the Russian side participating in the construction of seven frigates belonging to the 17A project (frigates that are built using stealth technology using Indian techniques), as well as 4 destroyers of the 15B project. It has not yet been reported how Russian companies can carry out integrated work with the Indian Mazagon Dox on the construction of destroyers. And to start such work, the Russian side will have to use all its trump cards, which, hopefully, exist.
In addition, Dmitry Rogozin's visit to India, in one way or another, influenced several more Russian-Indian projects. These are the projects, the implementation of which, due to certain circumstances, was frozen by the Indian side. We are talking about the modernization of Tu-142ME aircraft. This is a modification of the Tu-142 long-range anti-submarine aircraft for the tropical climate of India. The essence of the modernization lies in Russia's proposal to equip these winged aircraft with a new search and sighting system developed by Russian specialists. The Indian side as a whole is not against such modernization, but still calls it a priority to equip the Tu-142ME with supersonic 3M-54E missiles, capable of hitting surface targets from a small missile ship to a cruiser with high efficiency.
Very interesting is the information that during the meeting between Dmitry Rogozin and the Indian head of the defense department, the use of joint Russian-Indian BrahMos missiles was discussed not only by Indian, but also by Russian troops. If this kind of proposal of the Indian Minister Anthony is indeed accepted by Rogozin, then the question is, where in Russia will BrahMos be applied? In this regard, experts have only one option: the use of missiles on frigates of Project 11356/57. In 2014, the Russian fleet will receive three such frigates, which are currently being created at the Yantar enterprise. But at the same time, the question arises, why should Russia use BrahMos, if it already has 100% of its own Yakhont? Apparently, the answer to it lies solely on the basis of readiness to improve Russian-Indian relations, and since it is already a matter of partnership, then, as they say, the fruits of joint production and Russia, too, may have to use.
In general, Rogozin's trip to India showed that the two countries have enough projects that would allow not only to raise cooperation between states to a new level in the military-technical sphere, but also to increase trade. Now the indicator of trade turnover for such large world economies as the Russian and Indian ones looks more than modest: no more than $ 10 billion a year. For comparison, the trade turnover between Russia and Germany approached the $ 70 billion mark. In other words, the Russian and Indian sides have every chance to develop their partnership, including through the implementation of the projects described here.