Russia has offered to upgrade the Indian Air Force (IAF) Su-30MKI fighter jets along with the improvement programme of the Russian Air Force's Su-30SM aircraft.
Such a move would lead to cost effectiveness and bring in some technologies and systems which have been planned for the Su-30SM aircraft, said A.A. Mikheev, General Director of Russian Arms exporter, Rosoboronexport here on Friday.
A part of the IAF Su-30MKI fleet was approaching its mid-life overhaul period and carrying out the upgrade programme together with the overhaul would save time and money, he said during an interaction with journalists.
Among the additions and improvements proposed to the Indian Ministry of Defence as part of the Su-30MKI upgrade are a new radar, avionics and communication systems besides some improvements to its engine.
Russia has a contract with India to supply 272 Su-30MKI fighter jets of which over three-fourths have been assembled by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and provided to the IAF.
The Su-30MKI is currently the front-line fighter jet of the IAF but its superiority would be challenged by the more modern Rafale jet when the French aircraft will begin to be inducted into the IAF in the 2019-20 timeframe.
(Mohammed Ahmedullah is Editor, defenseworld.net. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)
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