The Indian air force has begun training flights with its first eight Sukhoi Su-30s, part of a 40 aircraft Su-30MKI order from Russia. The first aircraft are basic Su-30s without the canards, thrust-vector modified engines, or phased-array radars which will be included in the full Su-30MKI standard. The aircraft will be brought up to this standard under a rolling modification programme. Indonesia could also emerge as a Su-30 operator. It is considering procuring a mix of Russian combat aircraft, including the Su-30, as well as MAPO MiG-29 fighters and MiG-AT advanced trainers. Sources in Moscow say that a deal was discussed when Bacharuddinn Habibie, Indonesia's minister of science and technology, visited Moscow recently. The overall cost of the potential contract is estimated at over $1 billion.

Source: Flight International