Friday, November 14, 2008

Russia to India: Don't Make Me Commission Your Ship Into My Navy

If Russia wants to demostrate to the world that it just isn't a reliable partner just look no further than the Indian carrier refurbishment project, which is taking on a distinctly Guns and Roses record release quality:

While talking about needing another $2 billion from the Indians to refurbish a 20 year old hull out of one side of their mouth, the Russians are talking about commissioning the carrier into their own Navy if the Indians don't accept it.

The modernization of the Gorshkov for the Indian Navy will require two billion more dollars according to the Deputy General Director of Sevmash Sergey Novoselov.

"The price of such a ship on the open market ranges from three to four billion dollars. The repairs that we are doing at Sevmash are sixty to seventy percent of the cost of a new carrier. This is about two billion dollars. Of course, this number needs a little clarification."

According to Novoselov, Sevmash is in fact constructing a new carrier and not repairing or modernizing an old one. "The fact of the matter is that we are building a new aircraft carrier in the dock at Sevmash. The last two years of work have proceeded only because we have gotten credit. The construction of any ship, most of all like this one demands a steady, unbroken line of financing."

He noted that 617 billion dollars was the agreed upon sum back in 2004. "But when the contract was signed, a deep search for defects wasn't done, the equipment wasn't removed and tests of the cabling system wasn't done."

He emphasized that there isn't any fault for the differences between today's price and the original price. A Russian-Indian commission is currently resolving issues surrounding funding.


Then there is this:

The Admiral Gorshkov could be transfered to the Russian Navy if India refuses to further finance modernization of the ship according to a source in the Russian military-industrial complex.

Uh huh.

(Note: I edited this post shortly after I posted it because it was unnecessarily inflamatory and prominently displayed the La Russophobe side of my personality. The Russian Navy Blogger is quite cranky at the end of this week. My original advice to the Indians about sunk costs still applies...)


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