India increasing military ties with Russia by acquiring 18 more SU-30 MKIs and developing new Submarine
Indian Air Force (IAF) is trying to get more 18 Sukhoi Su-30 MKI multirole fighter aircraft from Russia, according to Vladimir Drozhzhov, the deputy director of Russia’s Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation (FSMTC).
Currently, the IAF operates about 250 Su-30MKIs, of which more than 200 have been license-built. The new deal will augment the 13 squadrons having 272 Su-30 MKIs that the IAF wanted to operate by 2020-21.
The FSMTC is “processing” a request from New Delhi to procure 18 more of these fighters for the IAF in kit form for assembly in India, Drozhzhov revealed while briefing reporters in Moscow on 8 July. Drozhzhov further stated that Russia has completed delivery of all components and sub-assemblies to India’s state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) to license-build 222 Su-30 MKIs agreed upon under various previous contracts from 2000 onwards.
According to sources, with the power pack, missile systems, and other major components, Russia has also provided HAL with 5,803 types of titanium blocks and forgings as well as aluminum and steel plates to assemble the aircraft.
The IAF got its first 50 Su-30 fighters, which were later upgraded to MKI standard, in the late 1990s for $1.5 billion. This was followed by a deal to license-build 140 at HAL’s plant in Nashik in western India. After then, India signed two deals, one in 2007 and another in 2012, to build an additional 82 fighters under license.
Russia is also putting forward a proposal for India to develop a new diesel-electric submarine based on the Amur-1650 diesel-electric submarine project, Russian Federal Service of Military-Technical Cooperation Deputy Director Vladimir Drozhzhov told reporters. The official also pointed out that the new submarine is supposed to be equipped with the BrahMos strike missile systems, jointly produced by Russia and India. “This project can be successfully implemented in the interests of our countries,” he added.