Moscow, August 24: Russia has offered to upgrade the Indian Air Force (IAF) Su-30MKI fighter jet along with the improvement program of the Russian Air Force's Su-30SM aircraft.
Such a move would lead to cost effectiveness and bring in some technologies and systems which have been planned for the Su-30SM aircraft, said A.A. Mikheev, General Director of Russian Arms exporter, Rosoboronexport here yesterday.
A part of the IAF Su-30MKI fleet was approaching its mid-life overhaul period and carrying out the upgrade program together with the overhaul would save time and money, he said during an interaction with journalists.
Among the additions and improvement proposed to the Indian Ministry of Defence as part of the Su-30MKI upgrade included a new radar, avionics and communication systems besides some improvements to its engine.
Russia has a contract with India to supply 272 Su-30MKI fighter jets of which over three-fourths have been assembled by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and provided to the IAF.
The Su-30MKI is currently the front-line fighter jet of the IAF but its superiority would be challenged by the more modern Rafale jet when the French aircraft will begin to be inducted into the IAF in the 2019-20 timeframe.
Russia has shrugged off United States' sanctions against its arms manufacturers and has vowed to increase its current US$4 billion order book with India by a further estimated US$11 billion. Contracts under negotiation include the S-400 air defence system, an order for 48 Mi-17 helicopters and the joint production of KA-226T helicopters besides Project 11356 frigates, A
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