Amid Russia-Ukraine war, IAF postpones Rs 35,000 cr plan to upgrade Su-30 fighter planes

IAF had planned to upgrade the Su-30 with more powerful radars and the latest electronic warfare capabilities with an aim to make these aircraft more powerful in compliance with the latest standards. Not just this, but a deal to purchase12 most advanced Su-30 MKI aircraft costing over ₹20,000 crore would also be delayed as the stakeholders are now reportedly compelled to add more Made-in-India content in the Sukhoi-30MKI, going with the current policy of the government to promote Indian made defence products over imports

Amid the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, the Indian Air Force (IAF) has decided to postpone plans to upgrade its Su-30MKI fighter aircraft fleet for thetime being.  The Make-in-India policy of the Central government is also among the reasons behind this decision.

IAF had planned to upgrade the Su-30 with more powerful radars and the latest electronic warfare capabilities with an aim to make these aircraft more powerful in compliance with the latest standards. 

Not just this, but a deal to purchase12 most advanced Su-30 MKI aircraft costing over ₹20,000 crore would also be delayed as the stakeholders are now reportedly compelled to add more Made-in-India content in the Sukhoi-30MKI, going with the current policy of the government to promote Indian made defence products over imports

85 of such aircrafts were set for modernisation in collaboration with the Russians and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited.  However, the plan has now been shelved.

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Till now 272 of Su-30 MKIs have been ordered by the IAF in different batches.  As soon as the shortage of fighter jets in service was reported, an order of 30 to 40 of such jets would be placed to the Russian manufacturers.

India has received aircrafts in semi and complete knocked down kits from the Russian manufacturers  and later they were assembled by the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited in the Nasik facility.

There is a delay in supply of spares for the fighter aircraft fleet because of the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict. However, this delay will not affect India as of now as it had managed a considerable stock of them post the Uri surgical strikes and the ongoing China conflict. But it is expected that the delayed supply may become an issue in the near future.

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Developed in Russia by Sukhoi Aviation Corporation, the Su-30 is a twin-engine, two-seat supermaneuverable fighter plane.