The Irkutsk Aircraft Production Association (IAPO) has completed delivery of the first batch of 10 Sukhoi Su-30MKIs for the Indian air force. The deliveries began in late June (Flight International, 2-8 July).
IAPO is scheduled to deliver a second instalment of 12 Su-30MKIs in the third quarter of next year, and the final 10 by the end of 2003.
Vladimir Kovalkov, IAPO general director, says the second batch of aircraft is being assembled, and that metal has been cut for the last batch.
Sukhoi and IAPO are working together on Su-30MKI incremental improvements through software upgrades.
The third batch of aircraft are scheduled to be delivered in the final configuration, to which earlier delivered Su-30K/MKIs will be upgraded during 2004.
Improvements are focusing on additional precision-guided munitions capability, while consideration is being given to integrating the Bramos PJ-10 supersonic cruise missile, an Indian version of the NPO Machinostroyenia Yakhont.
The NIIP N-011M Bars radar will also be gradually upgraded during the course of the next three years.
Software improvements are also due to be made to the Rif navigation and weapon-aiming system, which was integrated by RPKB Ramenskoye using Elop, Thales, Indian and Russian equipment.
The Hindustan Aeronautics plant in Bangalore is due to roll out its first Su-30MKI in 2004, and by 2007, production will reach 10 aircraft a year.
Meanwhile, NPO Saturn has completed a two-year programme to improve the AL-31F engines used on Chinese and Indian Su-27/30s. Changes include a fuel system re-design to prevent clogging.
Source: Flight International