India Asks Russia to Upgrade Its Sukhoi-30 MKI Fighter Jets
- India has asked Russia to modernize its fleet of Sukhoi or Su-30MKI, supermaneuverable, multirole fighter jets, Indian Air Force (IAF) Chief Air Chief Marshal B S Dhanoa said in an interview, released on Monday.
- ”We are very pleased with the upgrades of the MiG-21, MiG-27 and MiG-29. They have been equipped with modern weapons and avionics. In recent exercises we tried them and were very pleased with the results,” he told a Russian military daily Krasnay Zvezda.
- Following the success of the MiG modernization, India has requested a proposal for the Su-30MKI modernization, he said. India has been operating Russian built Su-30 MKI for over past 20 years.
- The IAF chief also said that his country is ready to discuss production of Russian arms in India, as it saves time and shortens manufacturing cycle.
- Known as Flanker-H in NATO countries, India purchased the first batch of Su-30MKI jets in 1996 at the cost of $1.462 billion. Since then India’s Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has produced 249 such aircrafts under license.
- In 2017, India had cleared a proposal worth $435 million to equip the planes with new reconnaissance pods.
- The IAF describes the Su-30MKI as its air dominance fighter, because it allows the service to perform multiple missions, owing to its extended range, speed, firepower and super-maneuverability.