By Anjali Ojha
Moscow, July 18 (IANS) Russia has offered to upgrade its existing Su-30 fleet in India to make it “very close to” the fifth generation fighter, but India has asked for time to evaluate its strategy, an official from Russian Helicopters maker Rostec said.
Interacting with a select group of journalists on the sidelines of International Air show MAKS in Moscow, Rostec’s Director of International Cooperation and Regional Policy Victor N. Kladov said Russia had made the offer for upgradation of the Su-30 during a meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Narendra Modi last month.
“As far as I know it was raised between President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Modi in St Petersburg last month. The Indian Prime Minister once again reiterated that the Indian side needs time to evaluate its strategy of development and how to spend the money,” Kladov said.
“We are offering a package for modernising the Su-30 aircraft. It will obtain new capabilities, it will be very close to the fifth generation aircraft in capabilities. This is a deep modernisation, everything should be changed – engine, computers, radar etc,” he said.
Asked how much would such upgradation cost, he said that would depend on what upgradation India selects.
“The Indian Air Force has to evaluate its strategy and then take a decision,” he said.
The twin-jet multirole air superiority fighter Su-30 is developed by Russia’s Sukhoi and built under licence by India’s Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) for the Indian Air Force (IAF).
India has around 230 Su-30 jets which remain the frontline fighter for the IAF.
The upgraded Super Sukhois will include a modernized cockpit. A major part of the upgrade also involves avionics and sensors. The aircraft will have advanced stealth capabilities and be equipped with the Indo-Russian supersonic cruise missile BrahMos, an infrared homing system, new advanced avionics, and active electronically scanned array.
(Anjali Ojha is in Moscow at the invitation of the organisers of the MAKS-2017 air show. She can be reached at [email protected])
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