Rosoboronexport Continues Production Amid Covid-19 Outbreak

Timeframe of Russian-Indian military contracts, including the S-400 to remain unaffected: Indian envoy told TASS

After donating USD 2 million to (INR 15.3 crore) to the newly set up PM CARES Fund, state-owned arms trade company Rosoboronexport announced that it has not suspended the promotion of Russian military, dual-use and civilian products, as well as “the fulfillment of its obligations to customers” in the face of global constraints related to a novel coronavirus infection (COVID-19).

The donation is a first of its kind as with this, India has drifted away from its earlier policy of not taking funds from foreign state-run entities.

“COVID-19 hasn’t stopped Rosoboronexport’s activities in the field of military-technical cooperation with foreign countries. We’re responding as quickly as possible to new unique realities of the global economy, adjusting the forms and methods of work, and shaping trends in accordance with them,” said Director General of Rosoboronexport Alexander Mikheev.

“Rosoboronexport has set up an operational headquarters to coordinate activities with Russia’s Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation, Ministry for Industry and Trade, Rostec State Corporation, manufacturers of products promoted, as well as regional authorities.”

Given the specifics of military-technical cooperation, Rosoboronexport has tested and introduced technologies for conducting online presentations of products and solutions, and video conferences with partners. The Company received numerous requests for the supply of mobile infectious disease hospitals. Such requests will be processed given the challenge faced by manufacturers to supply the Russian health care system with the necessary products.

Rosoboronexport continues to fulfill its contractual obligations as planned. Foreign specialists who entered Russia before the restrictions were imposed are being trained to operate products for some services of the armed forces in compliance with all the necessary anti-epidemic requirements.

During a meeting of the Commission on Military-Technical Cooperation with Foreign States, Russian defense manufacturers confirmed their readiness to continue production under the contracts signed by Rosoboronexport with foreign partners.

India is to all set to receive the Triumf surface-to-air missile defence system S-400 air defence systems from Russia ignoring America’s CAATSA act.

The coronavirus pandemic will have no effect on the timeframe of Russian-Indian military contracts, including the deliveries of S-400 systems, Indian Ambassador to Russia Bala Venkatesh Varma said in an interview with TASS. “I don’t think there will be any impact. There has been slight dislocation of a couple of weeks but all the major contracts will be on schedule, we don’t anticipate any problem on that,” the diplomat told TASS.

“Rosoboronexport values its impeccable reputation in the market, the confidence of its partners and superior performance achieved over 20 years of operation. The Company has a sufficient safety net to ensure that the global pandemic that first emerged in modern history and related constraints do not have a critical impact on the established business contacts and good relations with more than 100 countries worldwide,” Alexander Mikheev added.

The deals between India and Russia for AK 203 assault rifles and the Kamov helicopters have got delayed and are in pipeline. India’s terms and conditions for a higher Indigenous Content (IC) in the Kamov-226T has stalled the procurement of the Russian light utility helicopters. The differences over Transfer of Technology (ToT) remain to be ironed out. As per the initial plans, the first chopper was supposed to be delivered to India in 2021.

The delay in the AK 203 assault rifle deal can be attributed to the cost factor.  The Indo-Russia Rifles Private Limited, established between the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB), the Kalashnikov Concern and Rosoboronexport have failed to arrive at an offer price for the rifles.


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