India is stalling on a contract for the purchase of five upgraded Ilyushin 38SD maritime patrol planes from Russia, citing alleged technical faults, director of Ilyushin Viktor Livanov said on Friday 7 September.
"The Indian military is recommending additional tests and constantly coming up with new demands not foreseen in the contract," Livanov complained. The Indian Navy is apparently dissatisfied with the Sea Dragon navigation and targeting system installed on the patrol planes, which were first developed in the 1960s.
Ilyushin carried out tests and had "no issues with the system," Livanov added. The contract for upgrading the planes, worth $150 million, was signed by Russian arms export monopoly Rosoboronexport and India in 2001.
The current dispute could harm a larger potential contract to provide the Indian Navy with eight planes. The $400-million tender for the planes was announced by India last year.