The Indian Air Force (IAF) chief S.Krishnaswamy today said the indegeniously-built Sukhoi aircrafts will be inducted into the IAF from next year.
Russia in 2003 had provided Indian Air Force with the first batch of the upgraded Sukhoi-30 MKI fighter jet, amalgamated with Indian, Israeli and French systems on Russian engines.
"We have sub-contracted for 140 Sukhoi-30s. And the production has started. Next year we will have the first aircraft rolling out. We will also have the Jaguars of which 28 aircrafts are under production.
Some aircrafts we have already taken over. Some aircrafts will come. We are hopeful that we have signed some contract for additional Mirages somewhere in 1998, for upto 10 aeroplanes, so they should probably join our service within a reasonable time," IAF chief S. Krishnaswamy told reporters here.
The production of the multi-role long-range fighter and some of its components have already begun and should roll out the first batch by first half of 2005.
Earlier the Indian Air Force (IAF) had designed Sukhoi-30 MKI or SU-30 MKI variants of the multi- role Sukhoi aircraft, regarded as the most advanced fighter jet in the world.
Krishnaswamy however expressed dissatisfaction over the delay in the replacement of aircrafts.
"The replacement plan is as aeroplanes retire, we are now established for 39 and-a-half squadrons. There are people who say we should go upto 45. But currently for us it is very tough o maintain 39 and-a-half and the rest of it is all in projections. So therefore the government fully sees this need and to modernise and, of course, it is a whole slow-paced process," Krishnaswamy added.(ANI)