Chairman of the Russian Air-Building Scientific and Production Corporation ‘Irkut' Alexei Fyodorov said on Friday that Russia will deliver 10 SU-30MKI multi-role jets to India by the end of this year.
This is the last batch of the Sukhoi fighers to be delivered to India in line with the contract on the development and supply of 40 state-of-the-art combat jets, signed in November 1996.
Designed to suit the needs of the IAF, SU-30 MKI is a new variant of the multi-role Sukhoi aircraft, viewed as the most advanced fighter in the world. The twin-seater jet is capable of undertaking both strike and air defence sorties. It can hit surface, air and sea targets with smart weaponry in substantial distance from the home base. Earlier, Russia had supplied eight SU-30Ks and 22 SU-30MKIs to India.
Fyodorov had told the Itar-Tass news agency that "our cooperation will not stop at it, we will be engaged in upgrading earlier-built aircraft, as well as in realizing a licence agreement on building SU-30MKI fighters."
Russia began delivery of the component kits, last June, for the indigenous manufacture of 140 SU-30MKIs in India under licence from Russia. The first planes are expected to roll out before the end of the year.