The Indian Air Force is highly likely to clear the backlog of orders of a total 272 Su-30MKI fighters, and is expecting to put them in service by 2018.
The fighters are assembled by India’s Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) under license from Russia’s Sukhoi aircraft maker.
“Since India received 50 assembled planes from Russia, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited had assembled another 134 fighters in India,” HAL official was quoted as saying by Itar-Tass. “We hope to form 14 squadrons of Su-30MKI fighters by 2018. By this time we will have 272 such planes in service.”
After this India might enlarge its backlog of orders, if the Sukhoi/HAL fifth generation fighter project or introduction into service of India’s own light fighter Tejas were delayed, the report said.
The Indian Air Force is expected to get its first squadron of Tejas in 2015 and the second one - in 2017, the report added. The project to build India’s Tejas fighters began in 1983. The plane made its maiden flight in January 2011.