Russia has offered to supply completely knocked down (CKD) kits of the Su-30MKI aircraft along with technology for their integration under the Make-in-India program.
In addition, it has offered to carry out joint work on the modernization of the existing fleet of Su-30MKI jets including the integration of the latest air weapons, avionics, etc, a statement from Rosoboronexport (ROE), the Russian arms exporting agency said in a release.
Currently, the program to build some 271 Su-30MKI in India with full technology transfer has been successfully completed. Some of the older Su030MKI jets need modernization - specifically related to engines, avionics and missiles.
Even after the arrival of the French Rafales, the Su-30MKIs remain a potent air platform for the Indian Air Force and the only one that can carry the air-to-ground BrahMos cruise missile which has emerged as a formidable long-range weapon for the IAF.
According to Rosoboronexport chief, Alexander Mikheev, “In the foreseeable future, the predominant combat effectiveness of Russian aircraft will remain, and continuous platform upgrading is underway.”
The Su-30MKI has become the test bed for testing a variety of Indian-made missiles such as the air-to-air Astra and anti-radiation missile.
The year 2022 marks the 45th anniversary of the maiden flight of the Su-27 fighter prototype developed by the Sukhoi Experimental Design Bureau, the ROE release said adding that aircraft of the Su-27 which is the forerunner of fighter jets such as the Su-30/Su-34 and Su-35.
To mark the occasion, the aircraft will mark special flights at the Army-2022 event in Moscow in August, the release added.