An IDC Report


New Delhi, 29 June 2006

Cdr VG Jayaprakasan MD Rosboronservice (India) Ltd and Mr Sergei Mikhaylyuk

Dy Chief Designer Kamov in New Delhi unveiling details to IDC

The Indian Armed Forces were captive users of Russian hardware and several badly needed ship and aircraft equipment and engines went back and forth to Russia for servicing, at times causing delays and operational gaps. The cost of transportation was phenomenal, especially in case of bought out equipment like ships, aircraft and helicopters but India had no option. In case of new buys a guarantee period was assured by Russian suppliers and they replaced parts at their cost, but as all who have operated Russian equipment know, the problems began after the guarantee period was over –– Russian part numbers for spares are very poorly tabulated. Now help is round the corner for the Indian Armed Forces with Rosboronservice, which helped IN keep ships operational, stocked spares and made parts lists easier and more accurate, deciding to set up shop in India. The Russians realised that India had other options and the competition had to be met head on.

The good news is that with immediate effect, the Russian manufacturers/vendors of defence equipment have outsourced the responsibility of maintaining the equipment supplied by them to India, to a new joint venture called Rosoboronservice (India) Ltd. This company is a unique venture in many ways. Rosoboronservice (India) Ltd, is the first joint venture in which, consequent to a decree by the Russian President, eight Russian defence manufacturers/vendors joined hands with an Indian company, that too in the private sector! The Indian company is Krasny Marine Services Pvt Ltd.

Rosoboronservice (India) Ltd will also operate a bonded warehouse to stock spares for Russian defence equipment, so that these items are readily available and do not have to be indented from Russia. This is an area that has in the recent past been a contentious issue and caused a lot of heartburn to the Indian Armed Forces. The new venture gives employment to highly skilled, retired ex-servicemen of the Indian Armed Forces, thereby putting their unique skills and training to productive use in the cause of the nation. This in itself is a unique concept for India, where otherwise, thousands of highly skilled technical personnel retire every year, even though they still have many years of productive life ahead of them.

Commander VG Jayaprakasan, a very accomplished technical naval officer is the Managing Director of the new venture, and in his words “Rosoboronservice (India) Ltd., has been incorporated as an Indian company on 28 April 2005 after the due approval of the President of the Russian Federation and under a special Governmental Decree. The founder members of the company are Rosoboronexport, Avrora Corporation, Granit Meridian, Altair, Salute, Tactical Missile Corporation, and Electropribor from Russia and M/s. Krasny Marine Services Pvt. Ltd from India. The board of directors comprises the General Directors of all the promoter companies, which is expected to ensure quicker decision-making and speed of execution. ”The mandated activities of the company include repairs and maintenance of systems to spare parts supply, training of personnel, etc. Thus, it is a major initiative from the Russian side to improve product support and make it available at the doorstep of the Indian Armed Forces”, Cdr Jayaprakasan added.

Rosoboronservice (India) will service, maintain and supply spares for all Russian/Soviet origin surface vessels, submarines, missile systems, and aircraft of the Indian Navy with immediate effect. Within a few months, it shall also take on the responsibility for Soviet/Russian origin assets of the Indian Air Force, becoming Russia’s one-stop-shop in India.

The partner companies of the joint venture are eight Russian and one Indian. Of the 8 Russian, one, Rosoboronexport is the government canalising agency. The others are manufacturers or designers. At the same time, the new entity, Rosoboronservice (India) is also signing MOUs with all the other defence equipment manufacturers in Russia, to act as their representatives and service agents in India.

This venture has the following on their rolls:

  • Rosoboronexport –– the apex canalising agency, focussing primarily on sales of new hardware.

  • Avrora Corporation –– ship and submarine motion control systems, missile control systems for ships, power distribution systems, gas turbine control systems, auxiliary controls and damage control systems, stabilizer control systems for frigates, steering control systems.

  • Altair –– radio equipment and protection against radio interference, air defence missile systems

  • Salyut –– radar stations and complexes for detection of air and surface targets

  • Meridian –– systems for combined operations of weapons for surface ships, electromagnetic fields compensation systems, fire-fighting systems

  • Granit –– target designation radars, ship borne fire control systems, anti submarine defence systems

  • Electropribor –– navigation and stabilisation systems for ships and submarines,

  • Tactical Missile Corporation –– ship borne missile systems, air launched anti-ship and anti-adar missiles, array of surface to surface, air to air, air to surface missiles.

The new venture had also already signed MoUs with the following firms to represent them in India:

  • Baltysky Zavod –– yard that built Talwar class frigates and one needed repairs in India.

  • Northern Design Bureau –– designer of the Talwar class ships and the next three Krivacks awaiting order.

  • Sevmash –– yard which is refitting the aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov and will need support

  • Zvezdochka –– yard for repairs and refit of Kilo class subs and HSL has begun the first refit at Vizag.

  • Kamov –– builder of Kamov helicopters KA 28 and KA 31 AEW

  • Kumertau –– designer of helicopters

  • Rubin –– designer of Kilo and Amur class submarines. The Amur with Brahmos is on offer and the President has supported the project. If Scorpene runs in to trouble on Integrity clause this is a good choice.

  • Central Research Institute for Ship Repair Technology –– design of shipyards and dockyard based repair facilities. As IN expands this Institute can contribute.

A number of other MoUs, particularly with aircraft construction plants and design bureaus are being negotiated, and the Indian Navy has been offered service. Once that is done, the new firm will take on the service/maintenance of the Russian supplied assets of the Indian Air Force. Currently they are already handling issues connected with maintenance of Kamov, Illyushin and Tupolev planes with the Indian Navy.

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