India will focus on Su-30MKI’s modernisation, arming jet with BrahMos

The Su-30MKI fighter production programme involves more than 150 industrial enterprises in India. Source: AP

The Su-30MKI fighter production programme involves more than 150 industrial enterprises in India. Source: AP

Indian research institutions and industrial enterprises will become involved in the modernisation programme of the Su-30MKI, which will enhance the combat capabilities of the fighter jet. Designers are now working on arming the Su-30MKI with the Russian-Indian supersonic BrahMos cruise missile, which will significantly improve the combat capabilities of this unique combat complex.

Russia will highlight collaboration with India in the cutting-edge fighter jet Su-30MKI at the air show opening Aero India-2015 in Bangalore on February 18. The Corporation Irkut OJSC, part of the United Aircraft Corporation), will discuss with its Indian partners the current progress and prospects of future development of the Su-30MKI, including arming this fighter jet with the BrahMos cruise missile, journalists have learned on from the enterprise’s spokesperson.

The Su-30MKI jets form the basis of the combat strength of the Indian Air Force. The first test of an air-launched BrahMos cruise missile will be held in March this year.

“It is planned that Indian research institutions and industrial enterprises will become broadly involved in the modernisation programme of the Su-30MKI, which will significantly increase the combat capabilities of this fighter. Designers are now working on arming the Su-30MKI with the Russian-Indian supersonic BrahMos cruise missile, which will significantly improve the combat capabilities of this unique combat complex,” noted the representative of Irkut.

He recalled that under existing contracts, the factories of Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) are assembling more than 80% of the Su-30MKI fighters that are entering into service with the Indian Air Force (the remainder are manufactured in Russia). The fourth phase of licensed production by the HAL involves the full production cycle of the aircraft, starting with the processing of raw materials. To ensure meticulous implementation of aircraft production plans, the Irkut OJSC has transferred to HAL all the necessary technologies, as well as sharing its expertise in serial production of Su-30MK jets.

The Su-30MKI fighter production programme involves more than 150 industrial enterprises in India. High-tech products produced in India are now installed in fighter jets such as the Su-30MK that the Irkut OJSC supplies to third countries.

According to the Irkut representative, a major achievement of the HAL Company, with the assistance of experts from Corporation Irkut, was the capital overhaul of Su-30MKI fighters. Currently, the HAL Company is the only enterprise in the world that carries out such complex manufacturing operations. The first fully overhauled Su-30MKI was delivered to the IAF in January 2015. Future cooperation plans between the parties include building new capacity for after-sales service of the Su-30MKI fighters in India.

“The Irkutsk Aviation Plant began its cooperation with India more than 30 years ago, with the first licenced production of the MiG-27 fighter-bombers. Working together, we have achieved outstanding results in the Su-30MKI programme,” the company’s representative quoted Oleg Demchenko, president of Irkut Corporation, as saying. Demchenko has also expressed confidence that co-operation in such new projects as the MS-21 passenger aircraft may provide the impetus for further development.

First published in Russian by RIA Novosti.

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