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India completes production of Su-30MKI fighters


India’s aerospace corporation Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has completed the licensed production of 272 Sukhoi Su-30MKI (NATO reporting name: Flanker-H) multirole combat aircraft, according to the company.


India completes production of Su 30MKI fighters Su-30 MKI (Picture source: Grubb)


“This year, HAL has completed the production of all Su-30MKI [fighters] contracted by the Indian Air Forces [IAF]. [The corporation] is expecting to get a few additional orders for Su-30MKI. Considering this [estimation], an awaited order for 83 Mk.IA LCA [Light Combat Aircraft] Tejas, which has been cleared by the Defence Acquisition Council [DAC], and a [low-rate] initial production order for 15 LCH [Light Combat Helicopter] [rotorcraft], which has entered final stage of negotiations, HAL will have a decent backlog of orders in 2020-2021 financial year,” the corporation reported on 31 March.

The company also manufactured 13 Advanced Light Helicopters (ALHs) of 40 ordered by the Indian Army (IA). “Three ALHs for the IA were produced ahead of schedule,” said the report.

HAL is ready to deliver the Final Operational Clearance (FOC)-standard LCA Mk. IA Tejas light fighter to the Indian military. “The first FOC-standard LCA Tejas aircraft passed through its flight tests. Once the [HAL’s] operations have resumed, probably in April, the aircraft will be ready for delivery,” said HAL.

The corporation emphasized the importance of the integration of the Brahmos air-launched cruise missile (ALCM) with the Su-30MKI. “The upgrade of avionics of the Su-30MKI and the Brahmos ALCM is important for us as this technology will be a game-changer,” said the company.

According to the report, HAL’s turnover in 2019-2020 financial year reached some USD3 billion, 7% over the results of 2018-2019 financial year.

“COVID-19 [the new coronavirus] has affected the final tests and certification of certain additional aircraft that had entered the final stages of their production,” noted the corporation.

India is now planning to upgrade its fleet of Su-30MKIs and procure 12 additional fighters jets that are set to replace the IAF’s operational losses.


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