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India pushes for stronger ties with Russia to support Su-30MKI fighters

12 April 2017
The Indian Ministry of Defence is pushing for stronger ties with Russia for support of the Sukhoi Su-30MKI. Source: Irkut

India's Ministry of Defence (MoD) has said stronger ties between Indian and Russian aerospace companies are required to boost support for the Indian Air Force's (IAF's) expanding fleets of Sukhoi Su-30MKI fighter aircraft, which are produced locally under licence by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).

Citing parliamentary comments by Minister of State for Defence Subhash Bhamre, the MoD said on 11 April that it has identified a total of 485 components and parts on the Su-30MKI aircraft that could be produced by Indian private-sector companies following technology transfers from Russia.

"Towards this, 20 Indian vendors have been introduced to the Russian original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to find out the feasibility of transfers of technology in the fields desired by Indian vendors," said the MoD.

It added that it has requested Russia to consider permitting the OEMs to "establish joint ventures or other means of localisation with Indian private industry partners [to] manufacture [the Su-30MKI] spare parts through transfers of technology".

The MoD's moves to promote stronger industrial links to support the Su-30MKI were revealed one year after India's state-owned HAL signed an agreement with Russia's United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) and United Engine Corporation (UEC) to enhance after-sale support for the Su-30MKI aircraft.

The MoD said this agreement had emphasised HAL's procurement of spare parts for the aircraft. It added, "The agreement signed by HAL with Russian OEMs is for the long-term supply of spares and rendering technical assistance for five years [but] does not cover any technology transfers."

The MoD said that despite this, the HAL-Russian agreement would enable the Indian company to procure the required spares "based on the price catalogues directly from the OEMs … and boost after-sales service by reducing lead time in procurement of spares significantly".

In addition, Jane's reported in January that HAL is in talks with Russian industry representatives about a potential programme to produce more than 300 Su-30MKI line replaceable units (LRUs).

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