India finalises 42 more SU-30MKIS from Russia
India has finalised a contract for 42 more Su-30MKI fighters to be built under licence from Russia at HAL’s Nashik facility—taking the total number of Su-30s in service to 272, and making India the world’s largest operator of the Su-30 type.
As recently revealed by IAF Chief Air Chief Marshal N.A.K. Browne, the IAF plans to induct four more squadrons of Su-30MKI. The IAF will soon be adding its latest Su-30 squadron at Halwara, the first under the Western Air Command. “We are raising three-four more squadrons of Sukhoi. Two extra squadrons are being raised in the Eastern Sector. So far we have raised two squadrons there and two more are in process. One more squadron will be based in Punjab and one will be in Southern Command in Thanjavur. Therefore, we will have 13-14 total squadrons of Sukhoi to add to our strength.” The Indian and Russian sides have also begun discussing and firming up an upgrade programme for the Su-30 fleet.