Procurement: The Offer Russia Could Not Refuse

Archives

February 28, 2009:  India is demanding that Russia sell them the design data for many of the weapons they have bought over the years. Russia is under a lot of pressure to accede. For decades, Russia controlled most of the market for high-tech military exports to India. Since the end of the Cold War in 1991, India went through some changes. First, the Indians abandoned their four decade experiment with socialism and state control of the economy (not communism and central planning, but many restrictions on entrepreneurs, as well as importing and exporting goods). The economy flourished, and suddenly India could afford even better quality weapons (from Western suppliers.) At the same time, India sought to expand its domestic arms industry, so that they could design and produce their own high-tech weapons.

Russia had already sold India production licenses for many major weapons systems. Russia would have preferred to just ship tanks and aircraft to India, but the license approach was a profitable second best. Russia also planned to make a lot of money with upgrades for the weapons, both the ones built in Russia, and those built under license in India. But the Indians wanted to shop around, and, where it suited their interests, to install non-Russian upgrades. To do that, they often need design details on the Russian gear.

India doesn't have to threaten to switch to Western, or domestic, designs for major military systems. This is already happening. India is telling the Russians that, if they want to preserve their privileged position as the major Indian weapons supplier, they will have to cooperate by sharing weapons design data. It's an offer the Russians can't refuse, at least not at great risk to their weapons exports.

 


Article Archive

Procurement: Current 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 


X

ad
0
20

Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close