MOSCOW: India has expressed interest in carrying out a joint project to extensively modernize its SU-30MKI aircraft in collaboration with Russian companies, the Russian state technology corporation Rostec said in a statement Friday.
“In the long term, as recommended by the Russian Ministry of Defense, we plan a major upgrade of the SU-30SM [model] to increase its combat effectiveness. The Indian government has expressed interest in collaborating to modernize the SU-30MKI, which is an evolution of the SU-30SM,” the statement reads.
According to the statement, both aircraft models will be given upgraded avionics and radars, as well as an improved engine. The SU-30SM and the SU-30MKI will also be equipped with additional weapons.
The SU-30 MKI, NATO reporting name Flanker-H, is the Indian Air Force’s elite fighter-bomber. It was developed by Russia’s Sukhoi Aviation Corporation and built under license by India’s Hindustan Aeronautics.
Russia and India have been close partners in military and technical cooperation for decades. In 2014, the total value of weapons and military hardware delivered by Russia to India reached $4.7 billion, according to Russian Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation estimates.