New Delhi: Modernising its fighter jet
fleet, the Indian Air Force is going to upgrade its SU-30 MKI
combat aircraft with the help of Russia.
"As part of IAF`s modernisation programme, we are going
to upgrade 50 Sukhoi-30 MKI aircraft with help of original
equipment manufacturers (OEMs) from Russia," Defence Ministry
sources said here.
"Su-30 MKIs have been inducted into the IAF in four
phases. The ones to be upgraded are from the first phase and
the project is likely to be completed in the next three to
four years," they added.
Of the 50 aircraft, around five would be sent to the
Russian facilities while the remaining would undergo
upgrading within India, they said.
Under the modernisation programme, the aircraft will be
upgraded to the latest standards and equipped with modern
avionics and various other capabilities.
"The airframe of these aircraft would also be
strengthened to equip them with air-launched version of the
290 km range BrahMos supersonic cruise missile," the sources
The SU-30s were inducted into the IAF in late 90s and at
present six squadrons of the aircraft are in service.
The first squadron was of the Su-30 was of the `K`
variant but later they were also upgraded to the latest MKI
version. Till now, the IAF has placed orders for around 280 of
these heavy air-superiority aircraft of which over 100 have
IAF is already upgrading its two main fighter aircraft
fleet of 60 MiG-29s and is about to sign an around USD two
billion deal with France to modernise its 50 Mirage aircraft.
The Jaguar, MiG-27 and MiG-21 fleets have already been
upgraded by the force.