The military-political leadership of India has begun a certain revision of the main directions of the military construction of the national armed forces in terms of the procurement of weapons, military and special equipment (VVST). Starting next year and in the near-medium term, it is planned to focus on the acquisition of naval equipment and weapons, as well as on the procurement of strategic strategic weapons and systems that provide combat command and control of troops. For example, the Ministry of Defense plans to spend on the fiber-optic line of highly secure communications for all types of the Armed Forces of the order of 2,2 billion.
OPPOSE Fleet HEAVEN
Among the priority items in the “shopping list” for the Indian Navy are nuclear and non-nuclear submarines, surface ships of the main classes, modern samples of missile, torpedo and artillery weapons, as well as communications and command and control of the latest generation. Representatives of the Indian military-political leadership (CDF), local military experts and political scientists have cited the rapid growth of the naval capabilities of neighboring China in recent years as one of the reasons for this emphasis on the fleet, although despite recent steps taken to normalize bilateral relations, Delhi is considered as one of the main rivals.
The greatest concern of the Indian CDF is the active penetration of the Middle Kingdom into the Indian Ocean. Not having direct access to it, China has already undertaken and continues to make active efforts to secure in the territory of Myanmar and Pakistan, where military and naval infrastructure objects are being built with funding from Beijing and its specialists - from coastal radar posts to naval bases and naval bases. All - either specially designed for the operation of the PLA Navy, or else designed for the joint basing of the naval forces of China and the home country (Pakistan or Myanmar). In particular, the Chinese military received permission to build a large radar observation post on the Big Cocos Island (Myanmar), to operate the naval bases and ports of Gwadar and Pasni (Pakistan), Hambantota (Sri Lanka) in the interests of the PLA Navy, and access to a number of military and naval infrastructure in Iran and some African countries with access to the Indian Ocean.
Moreover, the mentioned radar post is located in the area of not only intensive navigation, which allows the Chinese military to keep under control a plot of strategic importance, but also in close proximity to the Indian Andaman Islands, where the large naval base of the Indian Navy is located. The threat posed by the neighbor is considered so high that Delhi was forced several years ago to create a new interspecific military command - the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Recently, the head of command, Vice Admiral Joshi, even stated that due to the difficult situation in the region, a whole network of airfields will be built in the near future on the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, allowing military and civilian aircraft of any type to be received around the clock and in any weather conditions. “Starting from Port Blair, such airfields will be located at a distance of every 100 miles (about 185,2 km - W.Sh.),” said the commander.
35 BILLION MINIMUM
The scale of the naval construction of India, simply forced to be drawn into a new regional arms race, can be estimated at least from the budget approved by Delhi for the purchase of naval equipment and armaments (VMTV) - no less than 10 will be spent for the next 35 years billion dollars, that is, on average annually only for purchases of VMTV, Indian admirals will receive at their disposal an amount equivalent to 105 billion rubles at the current rate. However, it is likely that, if necessary, the costs of the fleet will be increased.
Previously, Indian VPR was the main focus in the procurement of weapons and military equipment. aviation equipment and weapons, as well as rocket technology, due to which, according to the command of the national armed forces, it was possible to ensure parity or superiority in these areas over all potential opponents (rivals) in the region. A certain balance has also been achieved in the field of conventional land weapons - the Indian army, according to official Delhi, is equipped and trained to face potential opponents on an equal footing (although Indian generals talk about the need for a more serious modernization of the army). However, in the field of naval construction, this has yet to be done. There is no doubt that Delhi will find the necessary means for this. Given the high degree of dependence of the Indian economy and industry on free access to marine communications lines running along the Indian Ocean and especially the Arabian Sea and the Persian Gulf on its one hand and the Bengal Gulf and the Andaman Sea on the other.
It is interesting, however, that a number of Indian analysts in this regard even speak of "an insufficient level of funding for the Indian Navy, based on the solution of the most important tasks facing them." There is a certain amount of truth in this. Thus, in accordance with the provisions of the report of the State Financial Commission presented in 1995, which was the basis of India’s military construction program for the near term, the Navy’s share in budget expenditures for AMER purchases should have reached 2000% by 20. But, according to Bharat Karnad, one of the leading Indian experts in military construction and military technical cooperation (MTC), in an interview with the American weekly Defense News Bharat Karnad, “even ten years later this figure barely managed to get closer to 17%.”
On the other hand, the command of the national Armed Forces and the expert community consider the level of defense spending in India’s budget to be insufficient, even though the military budget for 2009 – 2010 fiscal year grew in pure terms by 35% compared to the previous year and amounted to 15% all government spending (defense spending has been rising for the last six years in a row and this situation will continue, according to Indian military experts, until the completion of the main phase of the radical modernization of the national armed forces, scheduled for the 13 tnii military construction plan, 2017 – 2022 years).
“Defense spending today amounts to no more than 2% of national GDP, which is completely inadequate to the serious threats and challenges the country faces today,” said Gurmit Kanwal, an authoritative Indian military expert in an interview with the American media. “With such a level of military expenditures, it is impossible to purposefully implement the modernization program of the national armed forces at the proper level — a simple replacement, one-on-one, outdated military facilities with new ones, is not a modernization of the armed forces in the full sense.”
GOAL - 180 BULK
What are the main items of expenditure budget of the Navy, allocated for the procurement of VMTV for the next 10 years, what are the priorities of the Indian admirals?
The main attention is paid, naturally, to the ship composition - the command of the Indian Navy plans to increase the number of warships of the main classes from the current approximately 140 to 180. As a result, it is planned to allocate a total of about 17 billion dollars, including 2 billion dollars, for the purchase of two more aircraft carriers, in addition to the already contracted ships of this class, only for the purchase of surface ships of the main classes. However, the submarine forces will not remain deprived - during 10 years it is planned to send 12 billion dollars to re-equip them, of which about 10 billion dollars will be spent on the purchase of non-nuclear submarines (NNS), and the rest are for the national nuclear-powered submarine program.
Naturally, a few more billion dollars in the procurement budget of the Indian Navy will go to BPA planes (Delhi’s choice fell on the American P-8I "Poseidon"), unmanned aerial vehicles (including ship-based), shipboard air defense systems, "heavy", then there are 533-mm torpedoes for submarine armament, "network-centric" communications and command and control, and even the cost of assembling and putting a specialized satellite into orbit.
In total, today there are two aircraft carriers, three nuclear submarines, at least four naval submarines, three destroyers URO, five frigates URO, four corvettes URO at different stages of construction in Indian and foreign shipyards. In the future, it is planned to lay and build - also domestically and abroad - two aircraft carriers, four EM URO, seven FD URO, eight KV URO, three submarines, nine submarines, at least 20 NNL, five ultra small submarines, four landing craft with a docking chamber , 14 tank landing ships, etc.
At the same time, in the area of the purchase of non-nuclear submarines (NNS), the Indian military-political leadership is more oriented to the West than to Russia - according to local analysts, the next contract for six NNSL, the cost of which is estimated today at 4,5 billion dollars, is likely to go to from Europeans. " Someone is either the German or the French shipbuilding industry (companies HDW and DCNS, respectively), offering today the most advanced examples of non-nuclear submarines in the world and, unlike our shipbuilders and the military, can boast more than one year of successful operation of submarines of this class, including - with air-independent power plants (VNEU). However, Delhi also invited the Russian Rosoboronexport and the Italian company Fincantieri to participate in the tender.
This program - on the purchase of six naval submarines - is today, along with the construction of a national nuclear submarine, a priority for the command of the Indian Navy. This is even more important than the renewal of the fleet carrier forces. Because already in the short term, according to experts of the Indian Navy, only about five submarines will remain at the disposal of the national submarine forces. It is expected that by 2015 most of the ten Varshavyanka family diesel substations available today (of which five were built before 1988, i.e. by the specified time will be 27 – 30 years old), four submarines of the German 209 project and a couple of old Soviet diesel-electric submarines of the project ИХNUMXК will be withdrawn from the combat strength of the submarine forces of the Indian Navy.
However, no matter who won the tender for six NNS, the customer himself finds himself in a rather ambiguous position. According to current Indian legislation, when purchasing the Ministry of Defense armaments, military and special equipment (VVST) abroad, it is imperative to provide offset programs and some of the VVT should be produced at the enterprises of the Indian military industrial complex. True, Indian experts say that today and in the short term, the state-owned Mazagon Dock Ltd’s power will be engaged in the execution of a contract for the licensed construction of the French submarines Scorpen. Their Indian Navy recently acquired in the amount of six units. But the ability of private shipyards, for example, such as ABG Shipyard (ABG Shipyard), to build non-nuclear submarines with high quality and in a timely manner is still to be proved. This is not to mention the fact that the construction and the Scorpen naval submarines themselves already have problems. Speaking to 20 on July 2010 in front of the country's parliament, Secretary of Defense Anthony said that as a result of the “problems encountered in technology transfer and the adaptation of enterprises to work on this program,” the initially approved deadline for the transfer of five submarines under construction in India - in the period from 2012 to 2017 year), "as expected, will not be met."
However, even with such quite substantial volumes of financing for the procurement of VMTV, agreed to date, certain problems have emerged that require close attention from the naval command and the military-industrial forces of the country, if not today, then in the short term. For example, analysts of the national naval forces, assessing the current state of the naval fleet, as well as the potential problems of withdrawing the old ships and entering the combat crews of new ships of various classes and types, warn of the real danger of an excessively rapid reduction of "fit for battle" surface ships and submarines. As a result, according to their calculations, the fleet will have just 2017 pennants by the year of 120. And such a rapid decline in warships of the main classes will not be able to block even the high technological level of new surface ships and submarines, as well as the weapons of the last generation adopted by the national Navy. The accelerated pace of construction and purchase of ships, which in the past few years went to India, will not help either.
Aircraft P-8A "Poseidon" during the test.
Certain problems accompany the program of construction of national nuclear submarines by Indian ships. According to the results of the analysis of the progress of the project, the Indian Navy experts concluded that the delivery date of the first nuclear-powered ship to the customer is “shifted to the right” by about two to three years. Including for this reason, the command of the Indian Navy, as indicated by naval experts, nevertheless had to agree with all the “wishes” put forward by Moscow and go for a rather expensive lease of one or two 971 submarines for the treasury. And the Russian construction (the transfer of the first submarine, known as "Chakra", also moved - to March 2011 of the year). The reason is the same - the growing combat potential of the submarine forces of the “eastern neighbor”: the PLA Navy already has three dozen modern submarines in service, including nuclear ones, apart from about as many submarines of obsolete types.
AMERICA WILL HELP IT?
The trend of recent years in the field of procurement of VVST for the needs of various types of national armed forces of India became at first a “soft”, and then more and more gaining turn towards the developers and manufacturers of VVST from Western Europe and the United States. In the latter case, we are already talking about a wide range of samples - large-capacity amphibious assault ships, the P-8I Poseidon BPA advanced airplanes, and even Stryker combat armored vehicles (BBM) that intend to purchase, as well as a batch of ammunition for them, within the American of the program “Arms supply to foreign countries” the command of the Indian Armed Forces firmly expressed in February 2010.
The new armored personnel carriers should replace the entire fleet of battling infantry fighting vehicles BMP-1 and BMP-2 that are no longer suitable for Indian generals. At first, at least 100 machines are planned for purchase. And under this article, the tender has already been announced - in 2008, but, according to Indian military experts familiar with the situation, only the Ukrainian defense industry responded, so the tender was decided to “freeze”. In the same year 2008, the Indian Army Command announced an intention to hold a tender for the purchase of 817 light armored BBM, but it didn’t work out with it either - the cheapest offer received during the preliminary discussions with potential contractors was at least three times higher than the 24000 dollars for which insisted the Indian Ministry of Defense.
However, Stryker is only “sunflower seeds”, the real sensation seems to be in the Indian arms market next month - according to Indian media and independent military experts, the whole package is expected to be signed by President Barack Obama in November. documents for the supply of the Indian Armed Forces of a large batch of various military installations, including the purchase of six strategic military transport aircraft C-17 "Globmaster" III (more than 5 billion dollars) and a batch of 155-mm howitzers (about 1 billion . dollars). In early October of this year. The Indian government also approved a request from the Ministry of Defense for the purchase of four additional P-8I Poseidon airplanes (a contract to buy eight Poseidons worth 2,1 billion was signed in February 2009) and four large-capacity amphibious assault ships (more than 3,55 billion dollars; according to the “2 + 2” scheme, that is, two ships will be built in India - for this, the shipyard “Hindustan Shipyard” was chosen in the town of Visakhapatnam).
However, even before President Obama’s visit, during the visits of Indian defense and trade ministers to the United States, two important agreements are planned to be signed: on logistics issues, according to which the national ministries of the two countries will assist each other in matters of logistics (for example, refueling ships and airplanes on each other’s territory), and an agreement on cooperation in matters of communications and security.
In addition, Delhi and Washington are currently actively negotiating, albeit in a very closed format, about the delivery of weapons and other weapons systems to the Indian military, including, for example, the Patriot anti-aircraft missile system, which is intended for inclusion in India’s anti-missile defense system . This year, India also purchased from the Americans 24 RCC "Harpoon" Block II (170 million), which will arm the Jaguar planes of the Indian Air Force, and the Javelin ATGM (200 million dollars). If everything goes as planned in November, by the end of 2010, the Indian military will sign “solid” contracts for the purchase of military equipment for a total of not less than 7 billion dollars. This will bring the US military-industrial complex to the first place in the Indian market, because the forecast for this article by military experts, given in the weekly Defense News, is 5,65 billion for Russia in Russia, and 3,2 billion for Israel.
With the implementation of such a forecast, for the first time in Russia, Russia will actually leave the highest step of the pedestal of suppliers. weapons India, which she occupied in recent years. However, Moscow still has hope for the fifth generation fighter - if you sign a contract on it, then Russia's sales will increase by at least 25 billion dollars. But be that as it may, the Russian defenders are rapidly losing so hard-won positions in one sector after another for more than one decade. In the field of non-nuclear submarines, India, as we see, deliberately goes to Western Europe (who need an escort version of the naval submarines of the 677 project, whose admission to the Russian Navy is taking place with such a “strain”). We don’t have anything to offer in the discharge of large-capacity amphibious ships (Indian admirals gladly purchased an American amphibious assault helicopter Trenton of the Austin type, renamed the Jalashma, for 50 million dollars). And now the Indian Navy is ready to purchase four amphibious ships with a docking chamber - a tender will be announced, the winner of which will be either the Americans or the Western Europeans. With aircraft carriers - the same trouble, which of us is a supplier if we ourselves intend to buy them abroad, and we no longer have a “second Gorshkov”. The surface ships of the corvette-destroyer classes, with the exception of the 11356 RROs frigates of the XNUMX project, are also not very attractive - the Indian military use only design assistance in creating their own ships (besides, more and more saturated with non-Russian-made weapons and radio electronics). Similar problems with the lack of "attractive offers" in the field of artillery weapons and ammunition.
While we can “feel safe” in areas such as large-caliber multiple launch rocket systems, Tanks and combat aircraft. Moreover, it is aviation that has the main hopes in the development of the Russian-Indian military-technical cooperation: an agreement has been signed on the joint creation of a medium military transport aircraft MTA (India will purchase 45 aircraft); the final contract is expected to be signed soon on the joint creation of a fifth-generation fighter - this was, in particular, stated during a recent visit to India by Russian Minister of Defense Anatoly Serdyukov (according to various statements by the Indian side, Indian forces plan to purchase from 250 to 300 of these aircraft in the amount of up to 25-30 billion dollars, the cost of one machine is declared in the region of 100 million dollars - the first batch should go to the Air Force by 2017). Successful procurement or licensed production programs for Su-30MKI and MiG-29K / KUB combat aircraft are underway, and a tender for 126 fighters is likely to win (cost of about 10,5-12 billion dollars, 2012 planes should be delivered by 18, and the rest will be collected in India, an option for 64 aircraft is provided). But here one cannot exclude the possibility that competitors from Western Europe and the United States will “beat us up”, it’s enough to recall Washington’s offer to “give up for cheap” the Kitty Hawk carrier - in case Delhi makes a positive decision on the acquisition of a large batch of aircraft F / A-18.
On the whole, it can be stated that the “threat” of the Indian CDR to seriously diversify the purchases of VVST for its needs was not empty. Official Delhi seriously intends to receive from such a reorientation various dividends - from purely military and economic to political, such as the notorious "security umbrella" provided by Washington to its partners in the PTS, or some help in solving various national security issues. Among the possible reasons for this may be dissatisfaction with the active military-technical cooperation of Moscow and Beijing, which, as can be understood from the journalistic and analytical expert materials published in India, is still considered as one of the most potential rivals, it is quite likely that the political conflict in the armed stage. As a result, Delhi is forced to seek cooperation with those countries that do not cooperate with China and lead very careful MTC with another rival of India - Pakistan.
“India should rely more on the West and the United States on the acquisition of modern high-tech weapons and military equipment to face the growing threat from neighboring China on equal terms,” military expert Naytin Mehta, a well-known Indian expert, said in an interview to the Defens News weekly. Comments, as they say, are superfluous.