Kazakhstan has acquired four fourth generation Russian-built Su-30SM aircraft.
Kazakhstan’s recent military parade in May confirmed that the central Asian country is operating at least four Su-30SM aircraft, BellingCat reported today.
A variant of the Indian Su-30MKI featuring improved radar, communications system, ejection seat and weapons system, Su-30MS were found at the Taldykorgan Airbase. Satellite imagery from April confirms that KADF had received four fighters.
Major General Nurlan Ormanbetov made the acquisition public during a visit to the Irkutsk Aviation Plant where the Su-30SM is built.
“Deliveries have already begun. The first two fighters have already been shipped, two are on the way. These aircraft will take part in the parade in Kazakhstan this year,” Victor Lichaev, head of Irkut corp had said at an arms exhibition in Rio de Janeiro
“Kazakhstan plans to increase the number of purchased aircraft of the Su-30SM type,” he had said.
The KADF has been in desperate need to acquire new aircraft and modernize its aging force as most of its aircraft were acquired from older Soviet stocks in the 1990s. Its most recent efforts include a 2007 agreement with Belarus’ 558 Aircraft Repair Plant to modernize 10 of its Russian made SU-27.
The repair plant reportedly modified the KADF aircraft to the SU-27M2 and SU-27UBM2 standard featuring both Belarusian and Israeli systems. Those aircraft are now joined by Kazakhstan’s latest acquisition of SU-30SM fighters.
Kazakhstan is part of Collective Security Treaty Organization where Russia has been promoting a unified air defense system with allies in the region. Over the years Russia has worked bilaterally to bring nearby states into the fold.