Nasik: The first of the Sukhoi-30 MKI fighter planes, overhauled within the country, was on Friday handed over to the Indian Air Force by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar here, making India the only nation to re-do the Russian-made aircraft.
The overhauling of the fighter, which is the backbone of the IAF, was done by state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). The company said the second aircraft is also ready for delivery.
The handing over coincided with 50 years of establishment of Nasik Division of the HAL.
On the occasion, Parrikar said India would continue to need fighter planes such as Su-30s due to not so friendly neighbourhood.
He urged the employees to keep-up the good work towards increasing the production capacity. "We are one family and let us work together", he said.
Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha said IAF would continue to depend on HAL heavily in future too. "We both are inter-dependent," he added.
HAL chairman R K Tyagi said the second aircraft is ready for delivery.
A number of Su-30 fighters are being overhauled and HAL Nashik is only of its kind facility in the world for the purpose.
It has export prospect since nearly 10 countries have Su-30 fleet, an official statement said.
The twin-seater, long range, multi-role, air superiority Su-30 MKI aircraft are being overhauled at HAL Nashik for the first time in the world on completion of the specified TBO (Time between Overhaul) life, given to it after manufacturing.