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Russia offers maintenance, after-sales support for defence equipment

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Sukhoi 30MK. A Sukhoi photo

QUEPEM, GOA (PTI): Amid concern in the defence establishment over poor serviceability of the country's mainline fighter aircraft Su30 MKI, Russia on Tuesday said it has offered India comprehensive maintenance and after-sales support for equipment sold by it, including aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya.

This, Russia said can "completely" solve the problem plaguing some of the products.

"Maintenance of equipment which has been delivered from Russia is a very sensitive and important issue," Vladimir Drozhzhovi, Head of Federal Services for Military Technical Cooperation of Russia's Rostec State Corporation, said here at the Defexpo.

He said Russia has made a lot of proposals concerning long term contracts not only for delivery of spare parts, tools and accessories but also comprehensive maintenance and after sales services of the delivered equipment.

"Proposals are for Su30, MiG 29, and also Vikramaditya aircraft carrier. And I am pretty sure that signing of such type of long term contract for maintenance and after sales services can completely solve the problem," he said.

Currently, serviceability rate of multi-role fighter aircraft Sukhoi is just about under 60 per cent.

This means that out of a total 100 aircraft, only about 60 are available for fighting.

This is mainly because the rest of the aircraft are down with servicing issue.

India plans to raise the serviceability to about 70 per cent by the year end.

In December last year, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India had also slammed the low serviceability of the aircraft.

Indian Air Force operates more than 200 Su-30MKI jets that were made in India under licensed production with the assistance of Irkut Corporation, a unit of United Aircraft Corporation).

The total orders stand at 272 planes, and an additional delivery of 40 Su-30MKI knockdown kits is being considered India accounts for over 30 per cent of Russia's overall arms exports.

Each year, Moscow supplies New Delhi with various types of armaments worth about $4 billion.

Approximately $20 billion worth of contracts have been signed and are being implemented.

Since 1960, India has procured over USD 40 billion worth of Russian armaments and military hardware, according to Russia's Rosoboronexport.

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