Indian and Russian officials have signed two long-term support contracts
for Sukhoi Su-30MKI
combat aircraft flown by India. Companies signing the agreement include Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd., United Aircraft Corporation and United Engine Corporation, and covers upgraded schedule for delivery of spares from Russia for the jets, local manufacturing of parts, and a proposed logistics hub for the fighter in Bengaluru, India, by Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. A second agreement will see the provision of lifecycle support and maintenance of major Russian equipment and platforms for Mi-17 helicopters, MiG-29K aircraft, INS Vikramaditya and T-90 tanks.
India’s Su-30MKI fighter-bombers are the pride of its fleet. Below them, India’s local Tejas LCA lightweight fighter program aims to fill its low-end fighter needs, and the $10+ billion M-MRCA competition is negotiating to buy France’s Rafale as an intermediate tier.
India isn’t neglecting its high end SU-30s, though. Initial Su-30MK and MKI aircraft have all been upgraded to the full Su-30MKI Phase 3 standard, and the upgraded “Super 30” standard aims to keep Sukhoi’s planes on top. Meanwhile, production continues, and India is becoming a regional resource for Su-27/30 Flanker family support.