Monday, October 20, 2014

Russians not impressed with Indians buying French fighter jet

(India) A few years back, India put out a tender for a new fighter jet to replace its ageing fleet of MiG-21, 23 and Jaguar jets. After they whittled the competitors down to six finalists, in Jan 2012, they selected the French Dassault Rafale which, to be honest, is a pretty good combat aircraft (kind of helped that the Rafale is logistically and operationally similar to the Mirage-2000, which the Indians already operate).
Dassault Rafale
Anyway, this sale didn't go down well with the Russians who for years have been the major provider of weapons to the Indians who in this instance rejected the MiG-35 (just the MiG-29 in new clothes) for the much better French one. But seeing as the Indians have operated the MiG-29 since 1980, its something they know only too well and possibly was the reason why they rejected it for the newer plane.
Well, this hasn't gone down well with the Russians who have seen their cash cow (India) buying their military kit from elsewhere (US/Israel) and even itself. So it has come as no surprise to see the Russian Ambassador to India Alexander Kadakin openly lambasted the Indians by claiming that the Su-27 as used by China is far superior to the Rafale. A very strange thing to say, seeing as the Rafale isn't meant to take on the Su-27 (I'd say the French jet is the better jet). No for taking on the Chinese Su27, the Indians would fall back on their Sukhoi Su-30MKI which they have developed to be the major backbone of their Air-force fighter fleet and is reported to be a generation ahead of the Su-30 used by China.
Alexander Kadakin then berated India for purchasing weapon systems from the US, claiming that Washington had transferred no technology across, unlike the Russians had. All in all, the Russians have only to look in the mirror to find somebody to blame. They did themselves no favours by increasing the price of weapons sold to India after the sale had been agreed upon. Selling arms to China and Pakistan hasn't helped either.

Funny enough, Russia is losing out on all fronts to everybody else when it comes to selling weapons. I wonder if they are hoping that Pakistan will make up for the shortfall.