– Ukraine “Loses” Five Indian Airplanes, Shake-Up Of Secret Service & Army Underway (ZeroHedge, April 2, 2015):
Indian Planes go Missing in Kiev
This is really too funny. As Sputnik reports, India has entered into a contract with a Ukrainian state-owned company to refurbish and upgrade its fleet of military transport planes. Now it has turned out that the company has somehow managed to “lose” five of them. Part of the fleet was to be refurbished in India, but that has recently stopped, because the Ukrainian engineers went back home and the required spare parts failed to turn up.
“India says five of its 40 AN-32 military transport aircrafts have gone missing “without a trace” while the planes underwent upgrades in Ukraine. “These five aircraft are almost lost as it is difficult to trace them and diplomatic efforts to find their whereabouts have failed,” the website Defense News quotes an Indian Air Force official as saying.
In 2009, India signed a contract with Ukraine’s state-owned arms trading agency, Ukrspetsexport Corp., to upgrade its 104 AN-32 transport aircraft at a cost of US $400 million, as the fleet had reached its life expectancy. The upgrade program started in 2011 and was set to run through 2017.
Under the deal, the modernization of 40 warplanes should have been completed in Ukraine at Kiev-based Antonov State Co. facilities, while the 64 others were set to be upgraded in India at the Air Force’s Kanpur-based base, under a technology transfer from Ukraine.
However out of 40 warplanes sent to Kiev, only 35 made their way back home. The remaining five have been “lost without trace”.
The local upgrade of the remaining 64 AN-32s has been halted as Ukrainian engineers departed and supplies of spare parts stopped, according to the Indian Air Force. A diplomat from the Ukraine Embassy said Antonov must resolve this issue with the Indian Air Force, and that the government cannot help.”
Interestingly, although Ukrspetsexport is a state-owned company, Ukraine’s government “cannot help”. We wonder if that rather unhelpful attitude has anything to do with India not imposing sanctions on Russia? In any case, it seems extremely short-sighted given the size of the order. It is a good bet that India – one of the biggest buyers of war materiel on the planet right now – isn’t going to make any deals with Ukrainian companies anymore.