India has asked Russia to modernize its fleet of Sukhoi or Su-30MKI, supermaneuverable, multirole fighter jets, Indian Air Force (IAF) Chief Air Chief Marshal B S Dhanoa said in an interview, released on Monday.
”We are very pleased with the upgrades of the MiG-21, MiG-27 and MiG-29. They have been equipped with modern weapons and avionics. In recent exercises we tried them and were very pleased with the results,” he told a Russian military daily Krasnay Zvezda.
Following the success of the MiG modernization, India has requested a proposal for the Su-30MKI modernization, he said. India has been operating Russian built Su-30 MKI for over past 20 years.
The IAF chief also said that his country is ready to discuss production of Russian arms in India, as it saves time and shortens manufacturing cycle.
Known as Flanker-H in NATO countries, India purchased the first batch of Su-30MKI jets in 1996 at the cost of $1.462 billion. Since then India’s Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has produced 249 such aircrafts under license.
In 2017, India had cleared a proposal worth $435 million to equip the planes with new reconnaissance pods.
The IAF describes the Su-30MKI as its air dominance fighter, because it allows the service to perform multiple missions, owing to its extended range, speed, firepower and super-maneuverability.