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Big boost for India’s defence! 12 Sukhoi-30 MKI fighter aircraft order on the anvil

Source : Times Now

Big boost for India’s defence! 12 Sukhoi-30 MKI fighter aircraft order on the anvil
Indian Air Force Sukhoi Su-30MKI (File Photo)

New Delhi:
The Indian Air Force, desperately short of fighter aircraft, is ordering 12 Russian-designed Sukhoi-30 MKI very shortly. Its bid for the fighters, a Rs 10,000 crore package, is expected to be cleared by the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) headed by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and including the three chiefs next week.

The fighters, though Russian designed, include indigenous and also, Israeli systems and are built in India by Hindustan Aeronautics. The purchase of the additional Sukhois has come up as the IAF is short of fighters, its squadron strength down to the early 30s, instead of the allotted 40. A dozen fighters will give two-thirds of a much-needed squadron. The IAF had just two squadrons of the Rafale, but it still flies older aircraft, including the upgraded MiG-21 Bison.

Also on the agenda for the DAC are 70 HTT-40 basic trainer aircraft for the IAF. These have been indigenously developed by Hindustan Aeronautics and are also, badly needed as the IAF faces shortages in basic trainers. This deal is worth several thousand crores of rupees. In recent times, the IAF had bought the Pilatus, but a plan to buy a second tranche did not go through.

The DAC could clear about 50 suites of electronic warfare equipment made by Bharat Electronics, valued at about Rs 2,000 crore. All three projects involve a level of indigenisation, keeping in mind the government's desire for atmanirbharata or self-reliance.

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