Second Batch Of Russian Sukhois To Arrive This Month

New Delhi, Sept 18: | Updated: Sep 19 2003, 05:30am hrs
A second batch of Su-30 MKI is expected to arrive from Russia later this month a little behind schedule. They were originally expected to arrive in June. The latest batch will comprise 12 planes.

MoD officials dismissed concerns raised about the nicks found on the Sukhois now flying.

The Su-30 MKI multi-purpose fighter is a state-of-the-art aviation complex, which largely meets the requirements of the fifth generation aircraft. Russia handed over first 10 fighters to the Indian Air Force in 2002.

India had signed a contract for design and production of 40 Su-30 MKI fighters with the Russian Rosvooruzhenie company in 1996.

The Indian Air Force (IAF) had grounded a frontline squadron of Sukhoi multi-role fighters last week. Officials said that the number of flying hours had been cut down. The aircraft in the squadron had flown roughly 600-650 hours. It would have been normally due for major overhaul after 1,000 flying hours.

The squadrons operational flying was severely restricted after nicks were detected in the blades of the aircraft engine fans. There are 18 Su-30K aircraft in the No 24 Hunting Hawks squadron based in Lohegaon, Pune. The fighters were manufactured at the Irkutsk aircraft factory.

According to Air Vice Marshal (retd) Kapil Kak, additional director, Center for Air Power Studies, There is nothing unusual about the nicks, programmes of the Su-30 nature are very complex and sometimes inherent component problems are there. This will not affect the programme and certainly not the Indo-Russian strategic partnership.

He said that IAF will certainly put pressure on the Russian manufacturers to be careful and to carry out the services required for the aircraft engines with the nicks.

The two-seater highly manoeuvrable Su-30Ks are capable of dodging missiles. They are effective in air-to-air as well as in ground-attack roles. The aircraft have a range of 3,000 km extendable up to 5,200 km with in-flight refuelling.