Future production of the Su-30MKI fighter jet is likely to be cheaper if a new order for bulk production is placed on HAL, Indian Minister of State for Defence, Subhash Bhamre has said.
Replying to parliamentarians’ queries regarding the high cost of the Su-30MKI aircraft manufactured in India as compared to Su-30 in Russia, the minister justified the increased cost on ground that the Indian jet includes equipment not available on the Russia-made aircraft and having to pay royalty to the Russian firm for technology transfer.
State-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) is currently producing the Su-30MKI at a flyaway cost of around $62 million per aircraft, which is around $22 million higher than the Su-30 jet supplied by Russia.
HAL had offered to lower the cost of manufacture if an additional order for bulk production of the Su-30 jets was placed on it.
The minister stated that the higher cost of indigenously manufactured SU-30MKI is due to following factors:-
Additional modifications are incorporated in the indigenous Su-30MKI to enhance the operational capability and to suit Indian Air Force (IAF) requirements.
Being a Transfer of Technology (ToT) programme, cost is involved towards payment of license fee to Russian side.
Owing to the low volume of production of Indian SU-30 MKI as compared to Russian SU-30, economies of scale come into play.
Import of raw materials and proprietary components from Russia involves dependency on Russian Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) for the offered kit costs, which are not proportionate with the kit contents.