With Indian Air Force (IAF) aircraft squadron strength having dwindled down to just 31 as against the 42 required to counter the twin challenges posed by China and Pakistan, the force is looking to plug the gap in capability with Russian help, Zee has reported.
India has placed requests for 18 Sukhoi-30 MKIs and 21 Mikoyan MiG-29 air superiority jets said Russia's Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation (FSMTC) Deputy Director Vladimir Drozhzhov.
While the MiGs will be received in fly-away condition, the Sukhoi kits will be assembled in India by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) at its Ojhar plant in Maharastra. The new aircraft will help add two squadrons to the IAF fleet.
India began inducting the Sukhoi-30 aircraft in 2002, with HAL having assembled 222 of the fighter kits in India. "We have fully met our commitments on delivering all technological sets of Su-30MKI fighter jets and have received an additional bid for another 18 technological sets. The bid is being worked out," Drozhzhov said.
He also informed that the FSMTC had received a request for modernising 450 T-90 battle tanks and the organisation is working on the proposals.
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