Procurement: June 17, 2001


The Indian Navy has admitted that it is paying too much for spare parts from Russia, but says it has no choice. Before the fall of the Soviet Union, the Indian military bought spare parts at "friendship" prices, which are no longer offered. Worse, the Russian government has forced all arms exports to go through three state-run agencies, and those agencies price their wares based on how much money they want to make, not what they are worth. They know that India, like many other countries that bought Soviet weapons during the Cold War, has no choice but to take what spare parts it can get and no bargaining leverage to get a better price. The Indians send a list of the parts they need, and the Russians state the price, which can vary on a given item from $15 to $6,000. Even worse, the Russians might send newly-made parts, parts made decades ago and taken from storage, or reconditioned parts from deactivated equipment, and the customers have no choice in the matter and do not even know which kind of part they will get until it arrives.--Stephen V Cole


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