New amendment in Russian law:
Russia has amended its laws permitting lot of their Russian Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) to enter into long-term agreements for spares with Indian companies and support for military equipment supplied to India. This will address long-standing concerns on the serviceability of the imported equipment.
India is also discussing the possibility of Russian Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) allowing licence to manufacture spares locally by Indian vendors.
Problem with existing law:
Procurement of spares is a long and cumbersome process as India cannot deal directly with the OEMs but with designated intermediaries like Rosoboronexport. Rosoboronexport is the sole Russian state intermediary agency responsible for import/export of the full range of defense and dual-use end products, technologies and services. The change in law does away with this.
A constant concern
Indian military largely constitutes platforms and equipment of Russian origin and a constant concern has been the availability of spares for them.
To address this, the two countries began discussions for a long-term agreement on spares for five years, which would ensure quick delivery of spares and support from the OEMs.
One of the biggest beneficiaries of this will be the frontline Su-30MKI fighter jets of the Indian Air Force, the serviceability of which had at one time fallen below 50 per cent, which means less than half of the over 210 jets in service were available for operational deployment.