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Will India’s Air Force Get 40 More Su-30MKI Fighter Jets?

Hindustan Aeronautics Limited offered to build 40 additional Su-30MKI fighters.


Indian Air Force (IAF) has 272 twinjets multirole air superiority fighter Sukhoi Su-30MKI in service. The Su-30MKI is IAF's most lethal aircraft and more than a match for any fighter in service with its adversaries.

The Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL), which was building the Su-30MKI under licence from Russia's Sukhoi, is on the verge of delivering the last of the fighter jets to the IAF. But the aviation company is planning to supply 40 more Su-30MKIs to the IAF and will send its proposal to the Ministry of Defence soon.

According to a report in the Business Standard, HAL Chairman T Suvarna Raju will offer 40 Su-30MKI at Rs 425 crore each. "We will offer a very competitive price. Since 2010, we have been delivering the Su-30 at Rs 4.25 billion. We can deliver another three squadrons at that same price," Raju told Business Standard.

The total cost of the 40 Su-30MKI comes to around Rs 17000 crore. If the Ministry of Defence accepts the HAL proposal, the IAF will have 312 Su-30MKIs.

Raju added that all the 40 Su-30MKIs can be configured to carry and fire supersonic BrahMos air-launched cruise missile (ALCM). He argued that the IAF has proposed to upgrade 40 Su-30MKIs already in service to carry BrahMos missiles but instead of doing say it can order a similar number which the HAL can supply with the configuration to carry the projectile.

IAF successfully test-fired the BrahMos from a Su-30MKI on November 22, 2017. The 2.5-ton missile flies almost three times the speed of sound at Mach 2.8 and has a range of 290 km.

The range of the missile, an Indo-Russia joint venture, can be extended up to 400 km as certain technical restrictions were lifted after India became a full member of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) 2016. BrahMos missile is the heaviest weapon to be deployed on India's Su-30 fighter aircraft.