HomeGlobal Defence Updatesfighter jets: 12 Su30MKIs more for IAF

fighter jets: 12 Su30MKIs more for IAF

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The defence ministry has cleared acquisition of 12 Su30MKI fighter jets for the Indian Air Force, in the biggest deal for Russian-origin equipment for the armed forces since the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The fighter jets will be made by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited and the deal for aircraft and associated equipment is likely to be around Rs 11,000 crore. This will include budget for modernisation of the larger fleet as well. India had acquired 272 Su30MKI, making it the largest combat aircraft fleet with IAF.

The 12 jets are likely to have more than 50% indigenous content as several parts have been indigenised by HAL which has the capability to manufacture and maintain Su30MKIs. The jets will also have several Indian origin equipment including communications and will be integrated with domestically produced weapon systems.

The last order for fighter jets placed by India was in 2021 for 83 indigenous LCA Mk1A aircraft. The first of these is to be delivered early next year.

Since the beginning of the conflict in Ukraine, India has been facing difficulties in processing payments for Russian origin equipment, due to the west’s financial sanctions. Sources said that in the past few months, the payments process has eased out, enabling transfer of money to Russian defence entities.

The Rajnath Singh-led Defence Acquisition Council accorded acceptance of necessity for a total nine proposals worth ₹45,000 crore on Friday. The procurements will be made from Indian vendors under buy indigenous category.”Rather than a threshold of 50% indigenous content for IDDM projects, we should aim for a minimum 60-65% indigenous content,” Singh said.Projects cleared include procurement of light armoured multipurpose vehicles and integrated surveillance and targeting system from the Indian industry. The Army will also get high mobility vehicle gun towing vehicles for mobilisation and deployment of artillery guns and radars.

The navy has been given a go ahead to acquire next generation survey vessels to enhance capabilities in performing hydrographic operations. The procurement of indigenous Dhruvastra short range air-to-surface missile as a precision guided weapon for Hal built ALH Mk-IV helicopters has also been cleared.

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