IRKUT Corporation of Russia will complete deliveries of Su-30MKI aircraft kits to Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) during 2015, the Russian company said in a press release.
In total, IRKUT Corporation will have delivered 222 aircraft kits for assembly at (HAL) Nashik plant. Currently HAL is in Phase IV of assembly which means it is manufacturing parts from the raw material stage with complete transfer of technology from IRKUT Corporation, the release added.
Indian media reports have said that the final deliveries of the assembled aircraft could be delayed by 1-2 years beyond the 2017-18 timeframe. However, the statement from IRKUT raises the hope that the delivery of the aircraft from HAL to the Indian Air Force may keep its schedule.
India and Russia signed a deal on the licensed production of 140 Su-30 MKI aircraft, 920 engines and 140 sets of airborne equipment in 2000. These aircraft were to be delivered by HAL in four phases by 2017-18 with each phase progressively increasing the level of indigenization.
However, in March 2006, the Ministry of Defence advanced the delivery of these aircraft to 2014-15 to counter a sharp fall in combat aircraft available, due to crashes and obsolescence.
The Indian MoD placed an additional order for 82 aircraft with HAL, taking the total number of indigenously produced aircraft to 222, to be delivered between 2002-03 and 2016-17. Some 150 aircraft have been delivered till 2014.