India will enhance firepower of its deadly fighter Sukhoi Su-30MKI under an upgrade programme that will bring in new weapons and avionics, the head of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited said.
“We will start the Su-30 MKI upgrade programme soon to bring in new weapons and avionics to make them more potent,” T Suvarna Raju, chairman and managing director of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited told Deccan Herald during a seminar to celebrate 70 years of India-Russia diplomatic relations on Monday.
The enhancement of the entire fleet of 272 Su-30 MKI aircraft would include the installation of new radars with better capability and improved avionics, said Indian Air Force Vice Chief Air Marshal S B Deo.
Although, both the officials refused to divulge details on types of weapons upgrade, the report says the fighter aircraft may acquire more stealth capability besides having new missiles with higher range.
Multiple media reports in August reported that Sukhoi will be equipped with new reconnaissance pods which will help detect hardened terrorists in remote locations such as mountains and bunkers.
DH report says the Indian Air Force, HAL and Russian agencies are in the process of finalising the cost of the entire upgradation package. Deo said.“When it comes to technology transfer, the Russians offer everything without any strings attached. The IAF would look forward to continue its engagement with the Russian aviation industry for the enhancement of Su-30 upgrades so that it could be more potent”.
The Air Force describes the Sukhoi as its air dominance fighter because it allows the service to perform a multiplicity of missions required to keep up with India's rising global stature. The Sukhoi's versatility- owing to its extended range, speed, firepower and super-maneuverability - has given the IAF considerable freedom in deploying the aircraft in offensive missions.