Moscow is puzzled over Indian media rumors claiming that Russia refuses to fulfill a decade-old contract on licensed production of T-90S main battle tanks in India, a Russian defense industry source said.
“The Russian side is timely and completely fulfilling all agreements with India on the licensed production of T-90 tanks, including the delivery of all necessary components and the transfer of technical documentation,” the source said on Tuesday.
India’s Business Standard said on November 28 that the licensed production of T-90 tanks was “hamstrung by Moscow’s obstruction in transferring technology and the Russian-built assemblies needed even for the India-built tanks.”
“It is difficult to say why these allegations have emerged,” the Russian source said, adding that all controversial issues on the arms contracts with India are promptly resolved by the Russian-Indian intergovernmental commission on military-technical cooperation.
Russian diplomatic sources in India believe that the media rumors reflect the attempts by the Indian side to shift the responsibility for its own inability to manage the production of sophisticated military equipment.
India ordered 310 T-90s in 2001 following delays in the manufacturing of the indigenous Arjun main battle tank and Pakistan’s decision to purchase the T-80 from Ukraine. A contract was also signed for the licensed production of another 1,000 T-90s.
Initial disagreements with Russia over transfer of technology were resolved at the end of 2008, according to official statements on both sides.
Only 150 T-90S have been built so far at the Heavy Vehicle Factory (HVF) in Avadi, Chennai.
According to other publications in the Indian media, a slow rate of production has been caused by the failure of some Indian sub-contractors to fulfill their obligations under the contract.