India’s state-run Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Russia’s Rosoboronexport to export spares and accessories of engines of the Su-30MKI and MiG-29 fighter jets.
“The MoU envisages export of spares and services to friendly countries for which license has been given to HAL. The parties will subsequently sign an agreement on mutually agreed terms and conditions. The scope will include Su-30 MKI, AL-31 FP engine, RD-33 engines, accessories etc,” HAL said in a statement.
The agreement was signed last Friday during DefExpo 2020 exhibition held in Lucknow city, Uttar Pradesh state.
Previously, operators of Russian aircraft such as MiG-29 (RD-33 engine) and Su-30 (AL-31F engine) were sourcing spares from third countries not authorized by the Russian original equipment manufacturer (OEM) due to cost and supply considerations. The new agreement plugs India into the global supply chain of Russian jets, increasing their appeal to current and potential customers and elevating HAL to the level of a global parts supply partner for Rosoboronexport.
The AL-31FP engine powers the Indian variant of the Sukhoi jet, the Su-30MKI. The commonality of parts between the Indian version with new variants of Su-30 jets such as Su-30SMs and Su-30MKMs, has opened up an potential export market for the engines. The jets are used by Algeria, Angola, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Vietnam.
According to HAL, the AL-31FP is a twin spool, axial flow, low bypass turbofan engine incorporating After Burner System, variable area Jet Nozzle with thrust vectoring, air-to-air heat exchanger, anti-surge system. A specific feature of AL-31FP is an axi-symmetric vectoring nozzle with a thrust vector angle of ±15 degres in the vertical plane providing super maneuverability of the aircraft. The vectoring nozzle control is integrated with the engine control system.
The AL-31FP engines ensure stable operation in all available evolutions of the aircraft in super maneuverability modes.
The other engine included in the agreement is the RD-33 that powers the Mikoyan MiG-29 fighter jet that is in service with Algeria, Bangladesh, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar and Serbia.
HAL manufactures RD-33MK that provides a higher thrust than the basic model (RD-33) while featuring all its advantages such as unrestricted flight control and high stability against ambient disturbances. A jet fighter equipped with this engine can safely take off the aircraft carrier deck and efficiently perform combat tasks in a hot climate.The engine contains systems that reduce its infrared and optical visibility.