An expected Indian order for 12 Su-30MKI fighter jets will include new weapons and electronic systems probably drawn from the Su-35, the current top of the line Russian fighter.
“The issue of supplying kits for the production of an additional batch of Su-30MKI aircraft requires some time to be worked out due to the need to include new aircraft weapons and electronic equipment in their composition,” said Denis Manturov, Russian Minister of Industry and Trade in an interview with Interfax during the ARMY-2021 in Moscow today.
In 2019 the Indian Air Force (IAF) had cleared the purchase of 21 MiG-29s and 12 Su-30MKIs from Russia under an emergency clause. “The Air Force has been working on this plan for some time but they have now fast-tracked the process and the proposals expected to be worth over $800 million (INR 6,000 crore),” local media reported.
In addition to Russian missiles, India has developed and tested an indigenous anti-radiation missile besides the MBDA MICA missile from the Su-30MKI.
As to electronics, the integrated digital control system, KSU-35, currently installed on the Su-35 would be a candidate of choice as it significantly reduces weight, dimensions and power consumption of onboard equipment and simplifies cockpit operation.
Regarding the MiG-29 upgrade, Manturov said that In 2021, a tender request was received from the IAF headquarters for the supply of an additional batch of MiG-29UPG fighters this year, as well as for the upgrade of the aircraft in service. “The commercial proposal of the Russian side is now being considered by the customer, we are awaiting a decision on it,” he said in the interview.