India-Russia: News & Analysis

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Re: India-Russia: News & Analysis

Postby vavinash » 20 Feb 2009 12:01

Wouldn't worry too much about russia. They have arms export and gas pipelines. Iran and venezuela will suffer. But if US ally saudi is taken down a few notches it will be good for everyone.

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Re: India-Russia: News & Analysis

Postby anjali » 20 Feb 2009 12:19

My 2 cents...

I think that at this current point in time, India should play a shrewd game of three-way alignment :with USA, Russia and Iran....and court all three of them openly and unabashedly.

1. The US continues to play a cloak-and-dagger with us, for reasons that are not entirely clear to us but clearly stem from their need to further their self-interest, in the region. As long as they continue to support TSP politically and financially, there is no reason for us to be in a monogamous relationship with them.
2. Russia, being a key regional player, I believe we have to do what it takes to keep them interested. For instance, perhaps we could follow a policy whereby every act of alliance we forge with the US should be dovetailed in with something along similar lines with Russia ? So we court them just as aggressively as we court the US, on an equal-equal basis onlee.
3. Iran (especially if nuclear armed) might pose to be a bit of a wildcard. But so far the reasonably cordial relations we share seems to have worked well for both countries. My suspicion is that PRC (rather than Russia )might start playing its dirty hand in Iran (just as it did in TSP) and try to create some hostility. So perhaps we should continue our fling with them, if only to prevent the tide from turning.

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Re: India-Russia: News & Analysis

Postby Suppiah » 20 Feb 2009 17:41

Suppiah wrote:Newsweek weighing on the theme..though of course, they don't use the colorful words I use to describe these gentlemen

http://www.newsweek.com/id/184766


I dont know the exact number but Saudi is one of the countries that can sell oil profitably at about $10 a barrel or even less. Not the case with Russia, Venezuela and for that matter India. The ideal approach for Saudis would be to let OBL & Co. deal with the royal family and then let Uncle take out OBL & Co.

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Re: India-Russia: News & Analysis

Postby Igorr » 22 Feb 2009 22:33

High oil prices were overall bad for all Russian industry ecsepting oil production, due to rizing ruble and inflation. 2007-2008 the Russian manufacturers and pesants hardly could buy solar for plants and agriculture. Now the solar prices gonna fall and ruble is low. All Russian big industry excepting metallurgy starts to recover after some shock and the importers gonna be through out from the market. The single, but a big problem is lack of financial trust, as in whole world. ALl we hope it will be solved too soon.

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Re: India-Russia: News & Analysis

Postby Sanjay M » 22 Feb 2009 22:54

I think Russia is best served by globalization, since globalization supports multi-polarity, and weakens unipolarity. Globalization prevents too much power from accumulating in one country, such as the USA. This in turn would naturally prevent the US from becoming too adventurist against others.

Globalization ensures that there will be stronger/broader demand for Russian commodity exports -- demand that is not overly dependent upon one country or group of countries, such as the US or Europe.

Russia itself has enough natural advantages to be able to distinguish itself in a globalized world. Russia sometimes feels it is at a disadvantage by having so many borders to worry about, but globalization will make borders less relevant, and makes everyone into neighbors.

Likewise, India too is best served by globalization, and it is mainly due to globalization that India has recently come forward economically. Without globalization to change the equation, India would have still remained trapped in hyphenation with Pakistan.

Therefore India and Russia must cooperate in cultivating and advancing globalization. Despite the recent successes that globalization has achieved for us, we should not take the success of globalization for granted. Because just as India and Russia have benefited from globalization, there are other countries who have been disadvantaged by it, and who will therefore work against globalization. Globalization has to be sustained with direct effort, and this includes the development of technologies to support it.

As India and Russia collaborate to jointly use their talents and expertise to seek new advantages from globalization, they should not merely continue to develop existing technologies (eg. internet, software, etc) but they should also develop completely new technologies and bring them to fruition (eg. rapid intercontinental travel)

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Re: India-Russia: News & Analysis

Postby Igorr » 24 Feb 2009 14:51

Sanjay M wrote:As India and Russia collaborate to jointly use their talents and expertise to seek new advantages from globalization, they should not merely continue to develop existing technologies (eg. internet, software, etc) but they should also develop completely new technologies and bring them to fruition (eg. rapid intercontinental travel)

Russia has much to learn from India in financial sector. I always said it way before the crisis, even have wrote this opinion in BR. Now Russia has a ridiculouse high number of banks 2000. Unlike the industry where the consolidation programs were started at 2002, the bank sphere wasnt. I think the exellent Indian banking sector is a factor why Indian economy relative good withstands against the crisis. We certainly need deep learning from Indians in this aspect.

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Re: India-Russia: News & Analysis

Postby LokeshP » 24 Feb 2009 15:13

in India, you take a loan and stop paying...expect to be taught a very good lesson indeed... :wink: :lol:

i guess such lesson teaching methods are also possible in Russia. now if only Uncle too learned the lesson, then we wouldn't have all these bank collapses and and mortgage crisis recessions... :idea:

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Re: India-Russia: News & Analysis

Postby Gerard » 26 Feb 2009 04:29


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Re: India-Russia: News & Analysis

Postby Vick » 26 Feb 2009 06:20

The article is a little old but still worth putting up here:

Russia to cut defence budget 15 pct: deputy

Another reason to like $35 per barrel oil

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Re: India-Russia: News & Analysis

Postby Igorr » 26 Feb 2009 21:42

Vick wrote:The article is a little old but still worth putting up here:

Russia to cut defence budget 15 pct: deputy
Was desided not to do so.

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Re: India-Russia: News & Analysis

Postby Igorr » 26 Feb 2009 21:45

They are almost all goverment owned so they will be sponsored anyway. The real problem is bank crisis . WTF they do those 2000 Russian banks for? Hopely a half will survive.

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Re: India-Russia: News & Analysis

Postby Vipul » 26 Feb 2009 21:54

Vick wrote:The article is a little old but still worth putting up here:

Russia to cut defence budget 15 pct: deputy

Another reason to like $35 per barrel oil


One more pretext and reason now to sqeeze more money from India for existing defence deals.

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Re: India-Russia: News & Analysis

Postby prabir » 27 Feb 2009 01:41

It is good time for us not to be squeezed.

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Re: India-Russia: News & Analysis

Postby ramana » 02 Mar 2009 01:34

Why did not the Soviet Union carry the war covertly or overtly into TSP which was providing the sanctuary for the Afghan mujaheddin/ TSP Army in mufti? In South Vietnam, the US routinely bombed North Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos.
Overt escalation I understand could lead to general escalation with the US (which was on economic slowdown anyway in that decade) but where covert means even contemplated?

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Re: India-Russia: News & Analysis

Postby Sanjay M » 02 Mar 2009 05:02

Probably Pakistan was perceived to be a quagmire/overreach, and USSR's original goals were merely to stabilize the bordering state of Afghanistan, and not really to acquire a warm-water port as originally claimed by the West.

Meanwhile, I'm wondering if Russia's severe hikes on the Gorshkov are deliberately intended to force India to walk away from the deal, so that Russia can readily have another aircraft carrier for themselves to use.

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Re: India-Russia: News & Analysis

Postby vavinash » 02 Mar 2009 09:57

It would be a win win to walk away from the deal. Gorky is a 30 year old rust bucket and RuN can have it with the first one they operate. Even if it was not I don't see the logic of having 2 A/C';s with completely different logistics.

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Re: India-Russia: News & Analysis

Postby Sanjay M » 02 Mar 2009 10:29

India's main concern seems to be about any impact on other deals, of which we have so many with Russia.

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Re: India-Russia: News & Analysis

Postby Austin » 02 Mar 2009 21:17

Obama 'ready to drop shield plans for Russian help on Iran'

Washington has told Moscow that Russian help in resolving Iran's nuclear program would make its missile shield plans for Europe unnecessary, a Russian daily said on Monday, citing White House sources.


U.S. President Barack Obama made the proposal on Iran in a letter to his Russian counterpart, Dmitry Medvedev, Kommersant said, referring to unidentified U.S. officials.


Iran's controversial nuclear program was cited by the U.S. as one of the reasons behind its plans to deploy a missile base in Poland and radar in the Czech Republic. The missile shield has been strongly opposed by Russia, which views it as a threat to its national security.

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Re: India-Russia: News & Analysis

Postby Austin » 02 Mar 2009 21:28

If you start with an intention of lets screw some one because they are now weak , then it comes back to you after some time in a more worst way , like its happening with Groshkov , we tried to get the lowest possible figure for Groshkov then , since they were weak and needed money badly and now we are getting screwed.

Its better to go for a deal which is fair for both the countries and build upon our relationship with Russia.

Russia still contols a good percentage ( more than 50 % in any case ) of weapons in our armed forces and looking at navy , army and airforce deals will continue to do so for many decades to come, so it is good to be friends with our partner , it pays in many ways , why pin prick when there is no need to do so , just because its fun ?

I think what we lack with Russia is a sound economic relationship , that should be our concern and how we build our economic relationship with them.

I consider many of the comments here and in Mil thread about how to deal with russia very childish to put it mildly , most from kids who can judge decades of time tested relations with Russia based in one deal going bad.

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Re: India-Russia: News & Analysis

Postby Rahul M » 02 Mar 2009 21:52

ramana wrote:Why did not the Soviet Union carry the war covertly or overtly into TSP which was providing the sanctuary for the Afghan mujaheddin/ TSP Army in mufti? In South Vietnam, the US routinely bombed North Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos.
Overt escalation I understand could lead to general escalation with the US (which was on economic slowdown anyway in that decade) but where covert means even contemplated?

I have come across some anecdotes on the net.
there were some SF incursions into pakistan on pursuit of mujahiddin but not as a matter of policy from the higher echelons of soviet leadership. such decisions were mostly innovations by the commanders on the field.
also, weren't there a few air raids that didn't come off too well ? they lost a Tu-22 IIRC to PAF.
not sure if the target was inside pakistan.

all in all, I get the impression that the commitment and price USSR was willing to pay to hold afghanistan was much lower than that US was prepared to pay for vietnam.

if you read the references in the article I wrote for SRR, you'll find that in virtually every battle the russians were hamstrung by ridiculously low manpower. even equipment-wise there was much scope for improvement in terms of the numbers fielded.
that they fought so well in spite of such odds is a glorious testimony to the russian soldier.

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Re: India-Russia: News & Analysis

Postby Austin » 02 Mar 2009 21:53

Russian finance ministry forecasts GDP growth at 2-3% in 2010

"We forecast that GDP will only decline by 2.2% in 2009 and next year it will grow by 2-3%," Alexei Kudrin said, adding, however, that the forecast was based on the current state of the Russian economy.


Russia's M2 money supply could grow by 20-25% in 2009, the finance minister said.

"We will have growth of 20-25%, while in developed countries it is under 10% and in China - below 15%," Kudrin said.

Annual M2 money supply growth ranged from 32% to 60% in 1999-2007.

M2 money supply, according to the Central Bank's definition, includes total cash in circulation (outside banks) and balances in the domestic currency on the accounts of resident non-financial organizations and individuals.

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Re: India-Russia: News & Analysis

Postby Sanku » 02 Mar 2009 22:15

Austin wrote:I consider many of the comments here and in Mil thread about how to deal with russia very childish to put it mildly , most from kids who can judge decades of time tested relations with Russia based in one deal going bad.



:rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl:

sniff....

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Re: India-Russia: News & Analysis

Postby negi » 02 Mar 2009 22:23

Russia and India are no boy or girl who sleep with each other like in a Desi movie , don't know why people have to every time play the 'relationship' card . Ru is a seller we are the buyer end of story the former is obliged to service the customer as per the deal .. QED. People trying to justify cost overruns in the name of trust/relationship (whatever those mean) are being sentimental.

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Re: India-Russia: News & Analysis

Postby Sanku » 02 Mar 2009 22:30

Dear Negi; I am guessing you are not married/or in a serious relationship, otherwise you would not have said that. :wink:

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Re: India-Russia: News & Analysis

Postby ramana » 03 Mar 2009 04:05

So TSP nuclearization since 1983 were not a factor for Soviet Union?

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Re: India-Russia: News & Analysis

Postby brihaspati » 03 Mar 2009 04:26

What if RU was being cautious because of PRC involvement?

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Re: India-Russia: News & Analysis

Postby Austin » 03 Mar 2009 09:03

ramana wrote:Why did not the Soviet Union carry the war covertly or overtly into TSP which was providing the sanctuary for the Afghan mujaheddin/ TSP Army in mufti? In South Vietnam, the US routinely bombed North Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos.
Overt escalation I understand could lead to general escalation with the US (which was on economic slowdown anyway in that decade) but where covert means even contemplated?


Well i think they did not wanted to open another front by bombing inside TSP overtly , Nuclear TSP is hardly a factor for SU , considering these were of very insignificant value compared to the SU and NATO were prepared for , any nuclear brinkmanship would have had severe consequences for US and NATO.

They must have done many covert and intel operation inside TSP , either directly or via Khad the Afgan intel.

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Re: India-Russia: News & Analysis

Postby Austin » 03 Mar 2009 09:11

negi wrote:Russia and India are no boy or girl who sleep with each other like in a Desi movie , don't know why people have to every time play the 'relationship' card . Ru is a seller we are the buyer end of story the former is obliged to service the customer as per the deal .. QED. People trying to justify cost overruns in the name of trust/relationship (whatever those mean) are being sentimental.


There is no relationship card to play here , you need to be level headed and move forward , Groshkov deal is a bitter lesson for both , so either you learn from the lesson and move forward and dont comit the same mistake twice .

The other option as is being suggested by many at BRF is just play the brinkmanship game and then loose every thing that you have and earned , thankfully GOI is far wiser here and has decided to move past Groshkov , unlike the hot headed Navy Chief who was rightly pulled for his stunt.

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Re: India-Russia: News & Analysis

Postby Vipul » 03 Mar 2009 13:59

Austin unlike you would have us believe, it is not just one deal going bad.All the deals the russians are either going back on (faulty equipment, no full TOT, late deliveries etc) or there are considerable cost escalations.
You may call the GOI wise in taking all the abuse on its chin, but the fact is it is dependent on Russia for too many strategic projects to be able to take any sane decisions.
For those who refuse to see the picture its simple really, post coitus with the chinese Nadia is afflicted with VD and wants India to pay the doctor's bills.India is the Last MAJOR customer in the whole wide world which is open to buying russian arms and the russians are smart enough to want to milk the cash cow.

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Re: India-Russia: News & Analysis

Postby ajay_ijn » 03 Mar 2009 14:26

Vipul wrote:Austin unlike you would have us believe, it is not just one deal going bad.All the deals the russians are either going back on (faulty equipment, no full TOT, late deliveries etc) or there are considerable cost escalations.
You may call the GOI wise in taking all the abuse on its chin, but the fact is it is dependent on Russia for too many strategic projects to be able to take any sane decisions.
For those who refuse to see the picture its simple really, post coitus with the chinese Nadia is afflicted with VD and wants India to pay the doctor's bills.India is the Last MAJOR customer in the whole wide world which is open to buying russian arms and the russians are smart enough to want to milk the cash cow.

the cash cow (India) can deny a lot of deals to russia. P-17A, MMRCA, 6 Submarines are just a few to name, costs involved Gorshy will be much less than those big deals.

are russians milking cash cow or trying to kill Golden Goose due to their stupidity? shouldn't they be trying to please the last major customer so that west won't get the big share they are aiming for. these things will only help west in getting bigger contracts.

we already have lot of projects with Russia, so even cancelling PAK-FA or gorshy should not make it look India is completely dumping Russia as a supplier but just that its giving equal opportunity to other countries too.

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Re: India-Russia: News & Analysis

Postby Vipul » 03 Mar 2009 15:43

Russia's stranglehold on India is not limited to just arms.Who is going to help India in its manned Space flight?
Its only the Russians who are in a position to or who would help us to set up a training centre for astronauts. India has also decided to use/modify the Russian Soyuz Capsule(There is simply no other country with the expertise,even the Americans are only now in the design stage).
Even for defence requirements there are no other vendors who are ready or willing to offer some required items like the Nuclear submarine and the Blackjacks.So what looks like India GUBO (much as i hate to admit it) to Russia is going to continue. I am pretty sure the main MMRCA contract is going to be split between US/Western suppliers(126 planes) and the Russians getting the extended part of it (66 or 72). There is no way that India can afford to cross the russians.
Last edited by Vipul on 03 Mar 2009 15:54, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: India-Russia: News & Analysis

Postby vavinash » 03 Mar 2009 15:51

Blackjacks were never asked for or offered. IN has dropped plans for Tu-22M3 and till IN gets the akulas in hand I don't believe their is any deal. So walking out of gorky does not matter. I would rather have another IAC since it would have same logistics and can carry N-LCA and Mig-29k.

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Re: India-Russia: News & Analysis

Postby Austin » 03 Mar 2009 16:11

Vipul wrote:Austin unlike you would have us believe, it is not just one deal going bad.All the deals the russians are either going back on (faulty equipment, no full TOT, late deliveries etc) or there are considerable cost escalations.
You may call the GOI wise in taking all the abuse on its chin, but the fact is it is dependent on Russia for too many strategic projects to be able to take any sane decisions.
For those who refuse to see the picture its simple really, post coitus with the chinese Nadia is afflicted with VD and wants India to pay the doctor's bills.India is the Last MAJOR customer in the whole wide world which is open to buying russian arms and the russians are smart enough to want to milk the cash cow.


That is incorrect , look at it from a prespective of cold war era friendship.

Almost all the equipment we got from SU during cold war ( and ~ 70 % still constitute our backbone ) was either on long term credit ( read as virtually free , you will be surprised to know that the first 8 Kilo we got from SU were virtually free which is 21 years of very low interest credit , this i got from a admiral ) or via selling product ( much like barter system )

This was the arrangement we were more than happy with for like 40 plus years and SU was also happy to oblige , they also provided funds to develop infrastructure , HVF etc and thing like that.

Now when the SU collapsed in early ninties , things got royally screwed up as there was no central organisation in Russia we could reliably deal with and there was problem with spares and substandard quality inspite of $$ being paid for it.

It was a worst times for us and them , when things stabalised in mid late 90's , that was the time things started looking better and they were back in business with big deals like MKI , Krivak , kilo and T-90's

No one will ever give you full TOT , when it comes to critical technology even India wont share such things with Russia , compared to any western country , Russia will be willing to offer much better TOT , the best way to beat it is to develop technology indigenously.

From your own admission we are dependent on Russia on to many strategic project , ever asked why ? simply because they are dependable and that comes with years of experience in dealing with them , only russia will ever help you in developing critical strategic technologies like help in Nuclear Submarine or space or missile program , where the west will not even think about entertaining it , but will be happy if our neighbours gets it from China ( Nuclear Weapons , Convenional weapon ) as a way to maintain balance of power.

So dont judge relationship between countries based on a single deal , any deal can go wrong with any country , we see more problem with Russia is simply because we have dealt with them much longer and we bargain hard with them and suddenly things which we got virtually free or on easy credit , looks expensive now to purchase or upgrade because of hard cash involved.

I think it is good for us and them that they like rest compete for deals like MMRCA , ,P-17A they certainly can offer good price and competation is good for their industry and that would help them raise their quality standard , which will be a good thing for their end customers.

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Re: India-Russia: News & Analysis

Postby vavinash » 03 Mar 2009 18:33

Austin, If the prices in russia have gone up then they can quote higher prices. They need not provide us with weaponry cheap either ( which anyway came with some string) but you simply cannot change prices from a negotiated contract.

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Re: India-Russia: News & Analysis

Postby Sanku » 03 Mar 2009 18:58

Thats very simplistic -- if Russia offered us weaponry at "market" prices, then we would not be able to buy much of it either. The arrangement with Russia is win-win for both sides. Item to item we have gotten superior products cheaper that any other comparison point.

Ok so its not perfect but why throw away all the institutional understanding? For what?

GoI may have many faults -- but its not known to be sentimental in its dealings, if there were alternatives, they would have been pursued by now.

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Re: India-Russia: News & Analysis

Postby Austin » 03 Mar 2009 21:30

SPRN arithmetic: minus two Dneprs, plus one Voronezh

The Ukrainian Dnepr-type radars will be replaced by the Volga-type radar in Baranovichi in Belarus and the Voronezh-DM radar in Armavir, Russia, inaugurated on February 26, 2009.


Technical glitches often generated false alarms and noise mistaken for missile launches. Also, soured political relations between Russia and Ukraine became fraught with an unauthorized shutdown of these radars


Russia's SPRN system is developing rapidly - aside from the Armavir radar it opened a Voronezh-type station in Lekhtusi, Leningrad Region, recently. More radars are planned for other areas to replace ageing facilities: Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan, as well as near Irkutsk and Pechora.


The new station's range is 6,000 kilometers: enough to detect the launch of an intercontinental missile at an early stage. Once such a launch is detected, the information is sent to the SPRN's command post and then to the country's leadership, who, in the event of a missile strike, orders a counter strike. The system is able to point the direction of the attack, the number of missiles launched and likely targets calculated from their paths. The response time is quick enough to prepare and carry out a launch under attack before the enemy's first warheads make a hit.


The Voronezh and Voronezh-DM stations are of modular design, making their maintenance, repairs and upgrading easy. They can pinpoint not only missiles, but also other flying craft, including space satellites.


The current SPRN system operates five radars within Russia (Murmansk, Pechora, Lekhtusi, Irkutsk and Armavir), one radar in Kazakhstan (Balkhash), one in Azerbaijan (Gabala) and one in Belarus (Baranovichi).


There is also a Don-2 radar located in the Moscow Region catering to the needs of the Moscow Region A-135 anti-ballistic missile system. n addition to the radars, the system has a constellation of spacecraft in geostationary and highly elliptic orbits. According to current information, there are four SPRN satellites in orbit to detect early a launch of hostile intercontinental missiles.

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Re: India-Russia: News & Analysis

Postby Austin » 03 Mar 2009 21:35

vavinash wrote:Austin, If the prices in russia have gone up then they can quote higher prices. They need not provide us with weaponry cheap either ( which anyway came with some string) but you simply cannot change prices from a negotiated contract.


You cant go back on contract is something i agree with you 100 % , if there is any penalty clause on such a thing it should be invoked or legal settlement way out.

If the above cannot be worked out , go for a negiotiated settlement , what ever works in the interest of both parties.

I dont think it should be cheap that should factor much than quality , Russian system will be cheaper compared to western system , but it is the quality at the right price that matters , this is where the multi vendor bidding will be helpful and work in our favour , if Russia cannot offer quality at reasonable price , well we can opt for something else which works in our favour , let them slog their arse out if they want to remain a dominant player in our market.

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Re: India-Russia: News & Analysis

Postby prabir » 06 Mar 2009 00:45

Some time, it helps to build good will, reliability as a supplier.
In areas like,
-- Project Management and Delivery
-- Customer Satisfaction
-- Quality and Value addition
-- Reliability

Russians need to improve....
Otherwise, they will never become a stable and prosperous country with low political and systematic risk. Else, They will always have small periods of prosperity followed by chaos.

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Re: India-Russia: News & Analysis

Postby Kailash » 06 Mar 2009 05:02

Austin wrote:Russian finance ministry forecasts GDP growth at 2-3% in 2010

"We forecast that GDP will only decline by 2.2% in 2009 and next year it will grow by 2-3%," Alexei Kudrin said, adding, however, that the forecast was based on the current state of the Russian economy


Well why wont it grow? Russia has not only been milking India, but almost every customer lately. It seems like their plan for bouncing back as a super-power again. The problem is, with all that price raise and issues with ToT, Russian offer is still better and cheaper than most others.

Sanjay M wrote:Meanwhile, I'm wondering if Russia's severe hikes on the Gorshkov are deliberately intended to force India to walk away from the deal, so that Russia can readily have another aircraft carrier for themselves to use.


Possible, but unlikely. It is just another way of getting more money. Agreed that Gorshov is a costly mistake, but has been incredibly eye-opening. Hopefully India would avoid getting into any more major deals (except for nuclear subs - which no one else would provide).

Johann
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Re: India-Russia: News & Analysis

Postby Johann » 06 Mar 2009 07:49

Rahul M wrote:
ramana wrote:Why did not the Soviet Union carry the war covertly or overtly into TSP which was providing the sanctuary for the Afghan mujaheddin/ TSP Army in mufti? In South Vietnam, the US routinely bombed North Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos.
Overt escalation I understand could lead to general escalation with the US (which was on economic slowdown anyway in that decade) but where covert means even contemplated?

I have come across some anecdotes on the net.
there were some SF incursions into pakistan on pursuit of mujahiddin but not as a matter of policy from the higher echelons of soviet leadership. such decisions were mostly innovations by the commanders on the field.
also, weren't there a few air raids that didn't come off too well ? they lost a Tu-22 IIRC to PAF.
not sure if the target was inside pakistan.

all in all, I get the impression that the commitment and price USSR was willing to pay to hold afghanistan was much lower than that US was prepared to pay for vietnam.

if you read the references in the article I wrote for SRR, you'll find that in virtually every battle the russians were hamstrung by ridiculously low manpower. even equipment-wise there was much scope for improvement in terms of the numbers fielded.
that they fought so well in spite of such odds is a glorious testimony to the russian soldier.


Ramana, Rahul

The Soviets did wage a covert war; the KGB was active along with KhAD in the refugee camps, and on the Pakistani side of the border. 1984-86 Soviet Spetsnaz was active attacking supply routes on the border, sometimes with air support. These were in fact authorised at the highest level under Chernenko and Gorbachev. However, those were part of the Soviet exit strategy aimed at containment, not defeat of the insurgency.

The Soviet military and Politburo had already come to the conclusion by 1984-85 that the war wasnt worth pursuing (ie before Gorbachev came to power), and worried by the example of Solidarity in Poland the Politburo did *not* want either the economic or the human cost of the Afghan war to become the focus of popular revolt.

This was *not* as big a policy shift as you might think. The Soviet intervention was for one reason, and one reason only - to remove Amin as the head of the Afghan communist party (PDPA). Amin was seen as a disaster, a man who ignored Soviet advice, demanded Soviet assistance, and was destroying the PDPA and any potential popular support with his policies.

The soviet 40th Army was a regime-change/regime preservation force. The Soviets would remove him, and provide security while the Afghan party would rebuild itself, reassert coherence and control, and put down the revolts in the countryside.

The Soviet army was *never* intended to be the primary counter-insurgency force - it was sucked in to that by the utter failure of the Afghan communist party and its army to shape up. The PDPA was viciously factional as ever, and the DRA Army suffered from massive desertion, lacking the size and leadership to expand areas of government control.

When it became clear that the PDPA although obedient to Moscow was going to stay a mess, the Afghan army was going to stay a mess, the Soviets decided to return to the earlier plan -end the combat role, and return to its earlier mission of advice and support for the PDPA. The focus shifted from defeating the insurgency to containing it. The DRA Army was far more effective in a defensive posture.

That continued until the Soviet economic and political collapse in 1991.

The real mistake of the Brezhnev era Politburo was overestimating the PDPA's capacity to rule Afghanistan, and the Afghan population's orientation. The PDPA's failures and problems couldnt be fixed simply by replacing Amin. There were stong parallels in the Neconservatives decision to ignore all of the State Department, Army Dept, etc planning for the post-Saddam era. It is not an easy thing to build a state, especially in fragmented societies.

Rahul,

Absolutely right on the Vietnam contrast and comparison. The Johnson Administration and Gen. Westmoreland believed the US would directly defeat the Viet Cong through attrition, and by threatening escalation against North Vietnam. The upshot is that they planned on a large force, which of course was forced to keep growing as the Viet Cong itself grew. Of course under Nixon in 1969 the US shifted back to the Kennedy era indirect supporting role.

The other difference is more profound - by 1968 the South Vietnamese government was functional enough to stop alienating its people wholesale, to get organised, and for the beaucracy to reach the population at the village level. it was far better than the Afghan government at recruiting soldiers, paying them and keeping them in uniform, and far better at maintaining a presence in the villages through services, and pushing the VC out - the Afghan government was nowhere to be seen in most villages. That is why in the end South Vietnam was defeated by the North Vietnamese regular army, not the Viet Cong insurgency.

Of course like the Afghan government there was no way it could fight a war without external support when its enemies were receiving external support. Thats the point at which collapse is inevitabe.


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