In 2001 India signed a contract with Russia to upgrade 10 Kilo class submarines to enable them to employ the Klub land attack cruise missile, The first of these subs, the INS Sindhuvijay, recently conducted pre-delivery tests with an Indian crew which included six test firings of the Klub. All six tests were considered failures with the Indian Navy saying they had failed to perform up to parameters. As a result, the Indian Navy has refused delivery of the sub and is demanding the Russians rectify the situation. Export variants of the anti-ship versions of the Klub, sent to India in 2006, were found to have severe accuracy problems. Repeated misses led Indian Navy experts to trace the problem to the Russian-made gyros in the subs, leading the navy to contract with the French for a new gyro. This, of course, also comes on the heels of the standoff between Russia and India over the cost- and schedule overruns on the refitment of the ex-Russian carrier Gorshkov with Russia demanding an additional $1.5B US to complete the work. According to a 9 January statement by Russia’s Defense Minister Antony, there remains no resolution.
With the competition for the MRCA well underway as well as other modernization efforts within the Indian armed forces, it is clear India is looking outside tradtional (read: Russian) sources. Whether the very open campaign one sees in the Indian press over Russian arms failures represents the beginning of a clear break with their traditional supplier or merely an attempt to bring some very public heat to gain leverage remains to be seen. What is clear is that the near future on the Asian subcontinent will be very interesting in this arena.
According to the 16 Jan edition of Ria Novosti, delivery will be delayed by up to 6 months whil the sub awiats further misile tests in the White Sea in the July-August ’08 timeframe.
"The submarine has passed all its sea trials and was ready in November 2007, but the delivery had to be delayed due to problems with the Club-S system," a Zvyozdochka spokesman said.