New Delhi: In a deal that is estimated to be over Rs 3,000 crore, the Indian Air Force (IAF) is considering ordering eight new Sukhoi Su-30MKI combat jets from Hindustan Aeronautics Limited. "The plan is to acquire eight new Su-30MKI combat planes," according to a top seated official source from Indian Air Force, "We have lost a few aircraft in accidents over a period of time and to make up for the losses, we are looking to place orders for eight new Su-30MKI combat aircraft."
The Sukhoi fleet is manufactured by Russia and India in collaboration as part of the technology transfer in the deal. HAL has offered to sell 40 Su-30MKI planes to the Air Force with latest upgrades and the offer is seen as an emergency measure for the force to meet its need for combat planes in view of the dwindling fighter squadrons, official sources say.
"We have lost a few aircraft in accidents over a period of time and to make up for the losses, we are looking to place orders for eight new Su-30MKI combat aircraft."
Sukhoi was first inducted in the year 2000. Since then the IAF has already inducted about 12 squadrons of the formidable heavyweight air superiority aircraft. The Air Force will have a total of 13.5 squadrons of the planes in service by the end of 2021-22, with few of them being in reserve, sources added.
The Air Force has already ordered 272 Su-30MKI planes from Russia in different batches to tackle the fall in the number of squadrons of the fighter planes.
The Air Force inducted the Su-30MKI to fill the gap created by the retiring MiG-21, MiG27, MiG-23. Also the older generation planes like the MiG-29 and the Jaguar that are not in the four-plus generation planes like the Rafale fighter jets.