A SENIOR INDIAN delegation is visiting Moscow this month to discuss the potential purchase of 20 Sukhoi Su-30MK multi-role combat aircraft. The discussions may also cover the possibility of licence production of the aircraft.

The Indian air force is looking for a long-term replacement for its Mikoyan MiG-27M Flogger aircraft, some of which are thought to fulfil the nuclear-strike role, carrying a tactical free-fall bomb.

The Su-30MK would provide the air force with a long-range strike capability. In the conventional role, the aircraft could be equipped with the Raduga Kh-59M (AS-18 Kazoo) television-guided standoff missile.

It would also provide the air force with a long-range air-superiority fighter capable of operating as a fighter-controller aircraft for its Mikoyan MiG-29 Fulcrums, or its yet-to-be upgraded MiG-21 Fishbeds.

The Su-30MK is believed to be equipped with a datalink, which allows it to hand-off targets to other aircraft operating in consort.

Source: Flight International