India Buys $218M Worth R-27 Missiles For Its Su-30MKI Fighters

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India has inked a $218 million (INR 1500 crore) agreement with Russia for Vympel R-27 air-to-air missiles under the emergency procurement route to arm the Indian Air Force’s (IAF’s) fleet of Su-30MKI fighters.

The contract for the medium-to-long-range missiles takes the value of emergency purchases made by the IAF in the last 50 days to nearly $1.1 Billion (INR 7600 crore). The newly acquired missiles are compatible with India’s MiG-29 fighters, ANI reported on Monday.

Russia’s Federal Service for Military and Technical Cooperation on Tuesday confirmed that it had signed “large contracts” to supply about 1,000 air-launched missiles “of various designations” to India. It is yet unclear whether the deal for the 1,000 missiles refer to the purchase of the R-27, or if also includes other types of weapons, including air-to-air and air-to-surface systems.

Under the emergency powers given to the Indian forces, military equipment worth $43.6 million (INR 300 crore) can be procured within three months.

“A contract has been signed with Russia for the acquisition of R-27 air-to-air missile to be fitted on the Su-30MKI combat aircraft fleet of the IAF,” government sources were quoted as saying by ANI on Tuesday.

The Russian missiles with an extended range would give an added capability to the Su-30MKIs to take on enemy aircraft at long ranges, they said.

The missiles have been acquired under 10-I projects which mandate the three services to maintain critical weapon systems and spares for a specified minimum period, which is known as War Wastage Reserve (WWR).

Medium-range R-27T, R-27R and R-27P air-to-air missiles are designed to destroy aerial targets (highly manoeuvrable airplanes, helicopters, etc.) at any time, day or night, and from any angle. The R-27 is designed to hit targets at an altitude of 20 metres to 25 km at a target speed of up to 3,500 km/h.