The Indo-Russian twinjet multi-role fighter aircraft, Su-30MKI made its first flight twenty one years ago.
On 1 July 1997, the test pilot, Vladimir Averyanov, made his first flight on an experienced SU-30MKI aircraft. The flight lasted 50 minutes, United Aircraft Corporation posted on its Twitter account Sunday.
Su-30MKI is the first in the world fighter equipped with the phased-array radar, delivered for export, the tweet said.
Su-30MKI is developed by Russian Sukhoi JSC and is built under license by India’s Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). The aircraft costs an approximate $53 million per unit. There are about 249 Su-30MKIs built until May this year.
HAL’s Koraput division has produced an estimated 920 AL-31FP turbofans, while the mainframe and other accessories are being manufactured at HAL’s Lucknow and Hyderabad divisions. The final integration and test flights are carried out at HAL’s Nashik divison. The indigenization program was progressively increased in a phased manner from Phase I, II, III and IV. HAL manufactured the Su-30MKI knocked-down kits in Phase I. In Phase II and III, HAL transitioned to semi knocked-down kits. From 2013 onwards, in Phase IV, HAL is producing the aircraft from scratch.