India may buy additional 40 Su-30MKI multipurpose fighter from Russia for local assembly.
"Indian Air Force faces a number of problems. The purchase of French Rafale fighters is in doubt and no serial production has been launched for Indian aircraft designs," Tass quoted an unnamed Russian source as saying Saturday.
"The equipment of the national Air Force with new combat aircraft is vital, and the purchase of another 40 Su-30MKI fighter sets for local assembly will help India," the source said.
If agreement is reached the additional Su-30MKI sets delivery terms will be agreed in an appendix to the main contract.
India has ordered 272 Russian Su-30MKI fighters in total. The first contract for the purchase of 230 aircraft in Russia and their licensed production in India by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited Corporation (HAL) was signed in the middle of the '90s. In December 2012, HAL signed another contract worth USD1.66 billion for additional 42 locally assembled Su-30MKI.
India assembles the fighters according to the license obtained by HAL. Since 2007, Russia has delivered 50 aircraft in flyaway condition. Then India has assembled 134 licensed fighters. The national Air Force plans to deploy 14 Su-30MKI squadrons by 2018. Therefore, at least 272 fighters should be delivered by this time.