Indian air force efforts to bring its fleet of around 70 Sukhoi Su-30 fighters to a common standard appears to have degraded the service's available number of aircraft to fewer than 50.

With its initial batch of 18 Su-30Ks having been retired after less than a decade of use, and licensed production of the Su-30MKI taking place at Hindustan Aeronautics' Nasik facility at a current rate of around 13 a year, standardisation work to around nine early Russian-built MKIs has restricted India's frontline fleet. The work includes avionics and thrust-vectoring performance modifications, and replacement of the aircraft's mission computer with an indigenous design.

 Su-30 India
© Peter Foster

Based at Bareilly air base, 24 Sqn's Su-30MKIs have meanwhile been tasked with filling a reconnaissance capability gap caused by the retirement of India's RSK MiG-25Rs last year, with India planning to acquire sensors and ground station equipment from Israel Aerospace Industries' Elta Systems subsidiary. The Indian air force ultimately plans to acquire a fleet of around 212 Su-30s.


Source: Flight International