Italian firms will collaborate
in India's modernization of its Su-30MKI
fleet, according to Russian officials. The announcement was made by Rosoboronexport CEO Alexander Mikheev at this week's Paris air show, however, no details were made on what work the Italians would be assisting with. Earlier, CEO of Russian United Engine Corporation Alexander Artyukhov said that the Indian version of Su-30MKI after modernization will get the AL-41F turbofan engines designed for 4++ generation aircraft currently being installed on the Su-35 fighters.
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.