IRKUT Corporation of Russia will complete deliveries of Su-30MKI aircraft kits to Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) this year. By that time, IRKUT Corporation will have successfully delivered 222 aircraft kits for assembly at (HAL) Nashik plant, Irkut announced today.
Currently HAL is manufacturing parts from the raw material stage with complete transfer of technology from IRKUT Corporation under Phase IV of the assembly. HAL has also mastered the overhaul of Su-30MKI program and delivered the first overhauled aircraft to the Indian Air Force (IAF) at the end of 2014.
IRKUT supplied the overhaul equipment and assisted in their installation at HAL. The Russians also shared their experience in such work. IRKUT Corporation is happy to state that HAL and several Indian companies involved in the Su-30MKI program have mastered the technology of manufacturing many complex parts and assemblies of this front-line fighter aircraft.
Going forward, Irkut and HAL are planning to embark on an upgrading program of India’s Su-30MKI aircraft, with the integration of the Brahmos supersonic cruise missile. This upgrade will be undertaken by HAL in India. Forecast International analysts estimate the cost to integrate the BrahMos on India’s Su-30MKIs at around $50 million, which includes reducing the munition’s weight and performing some additional structural modifications to the aircraft itself.
India is also looking to improve the Su-30MKI’s avionics and is likely to install an AESA sensor system, which is rapidly becoming standard on modern fighter aircraft. Details remain sparse, though the Phazotron Zhuk-AE is a solid candidate.
In addition to the Indian MKI kits, Irkut delivered over 20 completed Su-30SM fighters in 2014. Additional aircraft delivered were 20 Yak-130 trainers completing deliveries for first training unit for the Russian Air Force. Part of these aircraft were delivered to the second air training Base.
In fact, 2014 has become a Year of records in the Corporation’s history. In 2015 IRKUT is planning to increase the production of both Su-30 and Yak-130, which will be delivered to Belarus this year. This expansion is taking place in parallel to the assembly of the first prototype of Irkut’s MC-21 civil aviation airliner, expected to be completed by year’s end.
The Indian Air Force first signed the first deal with the Russian government to purchase eight air defense Su-30K and 32 multi-role Su-30 MK aircraft in 1996. IAF bought an additional 10 Su-30 MKs in December 1998. Today, the Sukhoi-30 MKI is India’s most advanced fighter and forms the backbone of its air force.