“Defense News” reports that Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) and Elbit Systems are about to lose a deal to upgrade eight anti-submarine planes for the Indian Navy, because Russia is refusing to take part. The deal has a potential in the hundreds of millions of dollars.
Russian participation is necessary because the Tupolev Tu-142 planes to be upgraded are Russian, and Russian consent is needed for their upgrading by a third country, an Indian defense ministry official explained.
According to “Defense News”, India originally asked Russia to upgrade the planes, but negotiations collapsed when Russia demanded $888 million for the deal. The Indian Navy then contacted IAI and Elbit Systems. The two companies planned to install multi-task avionics and electronic warfare (EW) systems on the planes.
The Indian official said that because Russia was refusing to sign a tripartite deal with Israel and India, the Israeli companies were unable to carry out the upgrading work.
The deal Russia turned down was similar to the tripartite deal signed by the three countries for installing Israeli-manufactured Phalcon air reconnaissance systems on three Russian-made Ilyushin 76 planes for the Indian air force.