HAL completes licensed production of final two of 222 Su-30MKI fighters for IAF

by Rahul Bedi

Indian state-owned company Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has completed the licensed production of the last two of 222 Sukhoi Su-30MKI multirole fighters ordered for the Indian Air Force (IAF) from 2001. A senior HAL official told Janes on 2 February that one of the twin-engined aircraft had already been certified by the Centre for Military Airworthiness and Certification (CEMILAC) in Bangalore for integration with the 292 km-range BrahMos cruise missile. Certification for the second fighter is still pending.

India’s HAL completed licensed construction of the final two of 222 Su-30MKI fighters (similar to these ones) ordered for the IAF from 2001.  (Irkut Corporation)

India’s HAL completed licensed construction of the final two of 222 Su-30MKI fighters (similar to these ones) ordered for the IAF from 2001. (Irkut Corporation)

That said, HAL is expected to licence-build another 12 Su-30MKIs for INR107.30 billion (USD1.47 billion). India’s Ministry of Defence (MoD), which approved the acquisition of the additional fighters in July 2020, is now in “advanced negotiations” with Moscow, with a deal likely to be reached by 2022, according to industry sources. These aircraft are meant to be replacements for the Su-30MKIs lost in accidents, the most recent of which took place in August 2019.

In 1996 the IAF initially acquired 50 Su-30s for around USD1.8 billion, all of which were later exchanged for Su-30MKI aircraft. This was followed by three agreements to licence-build a total of 222 Su-30MKIs for USD10 billion–USD12 billion at HAL’s Nashik facility in western India under a transfer of technology agreement.

Over years, these HAL-built fighters have incorporated indigenously developed avionics, alongside French- and Israeli-made sub-systems and weaponry, to emerge as the IAF’s largest single aircraft type and the backbone of its fighter fleet.

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Indian state-owned company Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has completed the licensed production...

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