India to get more Sukhoi Su-30s by 2015

IAF SU-30 in formation.jpg

India’s defence minister said yesterday, almost as an afterthought during remarks to the upper house of Parliament, that the IAF will have 230 Sukhoi Su-30s by 2015.

That is a significant announcement. It is the first time, to my knowledge, that India actually set out a firm target for the Su-30s and represents an acceleration of the procurement plan.

India now has 98 Su-30s, comprising the advanced Su-30MKIs and earlier Su-30 models that it is upgrading. These were bought off the shelf from Russia and license-produced by Hindustan Aeronautics. It is not clear if the additional fighters will be manufactured by HAL or bought directly from the Russians.

New Delhi has been looking to accelerate the retirement of its older Russian fighters, given that it is too costly to upgrade them and keep them in service. By getting more Su-30s, the IAF will be able to modernise its fighter fleets even faster. And that is exactly what it needs to keep up its operational capability in the coming years.

Just to stir things up a bit, here is the infamous video about a USAF F-15 pilot talking about the Indian Su-30s that took part in Operation Red Flag in 2008.

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5 Responses to India to get more Sukhoi Su-30s by 2015

  1. Dave 9 July, 2009 at 4:25 pm #

    That’s good start… I would have preferred that they’d have increased the Su-30MKI procurement numbers to well past even 230. Something in the realm of 500+ would be ideal- mainly since I don’t see India actually signing a MRCA contract in the near to medium term future… Meanwhile, there’s a hostile and unstable Pakistan and the ever present and growing potential threat from China.

    Also, they need to buy more AWACS aircraft and a missile defense system- the Israeli Arrow or THAAD if possible.

  2. Siva Govindasamy 9 July, 2009 at 4:36 pm #

    That’s interesting, because the Defence minister actually said in parliament that they expect to sign a contract for the MMRCA in 2010-2011.

  3. Dave 9 July, 2009 at 4:58 pm #

    I’ll believe it when I see it… this is India we’re talking about. Politicians say a lot of things…

  4. Devesh Agarwal 9 July, 2009 at 9:11 pm #

    Much of the delay in the Indian Air Force’s Israeli Phalcon AWACS procurement is courtesy the good old US of A.

    When I see our government propping up terrorists in Pakistan and despots in China, against the only democracy in the region, I feel ashamed to call myself an American.

    The attack helicopter procurement was re-tendered (adding to delays) just to ensure the AH-64 Apache was included, and which should be selected.

    Even now, the US is trying to eliminate competition in the MMRCA project to ensure victory for the F16IN or F/A-18. Both aircraft are great. Let the best one be chosen.

  5. cman 10 July, 2009 at 11:57 am #

    India need 5(th) generations aircraft’s like f 22 raptor which have stealth technology although it is good to replace dying MIGs

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