India and Russia today signed two key agreements for long-term maintenance and technical support for Russian-made Su-30MKI fighter jets of the Indian Air Force. Currently, the IAF operates around 230 Su-30MKI fighter jets and as per the agreements, Russian defence majors United Aircraft Corporation and the United Engine Corporation will render technical support and provide maintenance services and spares for the fleet for a period of five years.
The pacts were signed between India’s Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and the two Russian companies in presence of Defence Minister Arun Jaitley and Russia’s Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov. Speaking on the occasion, Manturov said Russia will provide critical support for maintenance of Russian-origin aircraft and military platforms.
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“Along with the work on the programs of licensed production, repair and upgrade of Su and MiG planes, the United Aircraft-Building Corporation is carrying out work jointly with HAL on jointly developing the FGFA (Fifth- Generation Fighting Aircraft),” he said.
United Aircraft-Building Corporation President Yuri Slyusar said his company will ensure proper maintenance of the frontline fighter fleet of the IAF. “We believe the pact will allow the United Aircraft- Building Corporation to considerably increase the efficiency of providing after-sale services for the jets,” he said.
The agreements were signed at a conference on India-Russia Military and Industrial Cooperation. The conference is aimed at addressing issues relating to life-cycle support and maintenace of Su-30MKI aircraft, Mi-17 helicopters, Mig-29K jets, T-90 tanks and aircraft carrier Vikramaditya.