Ad­di­tional Sukhoi Su-30MKIs for IAF ?

Vayu Aerospace and Defence - - Aviation Defence & Inindia -

Sukhoi Su-30MKIs were dom­i­nant once again dur­ing the Repub­lic Day fly past in 2017, as they are in the In­dian Air Force’s or­der of bat­tle. Even as HAL’s Nasik Divi­sion con­tin­ues to pro­duce some 12 Su- 30MKIs per year, with some 190 num­bers de­liv­ered so far, the last of those on cur­rent or­der are sched­uled to be de­liv­ered by 2020. There are in­di­ca­tions that an ad­di­tional batch of 42 Su-30MKIs will fol­low. Mean­while, clear­ance of the long planned Su-30MKI up­grade pro­gramme is im­mi­nent, with Chair­man HAL Sur­varna Raju stat­ing that an of­fi­cial an­nounce­ment would be made in this re­gard shortly. The up­graded Su-30MKIs would in­cor­po­rate new dis­plays, avion­ics and an AESA radar, with HAL as­sum­ing lead­er­ship in the pro­gramme.

Te­jas LCA pro­duc­tion ramped up

Se­ries pro­duc­tion of the Te­jas light com­bat air­craft (LCA) is be­ing ramped up at HAL’s Ban­ga­lore Com­plex, with two sep­a­rate fa­cil­i­ties un­der­tak­ing this task. While the new hangars built for the pur­pose near the NFTC build­ing will be tasked for pro­duc­tion of upto eight LCAs an­nu­ally, the hangars at Air­craft Divi­sion ear­lier pro­duc­ing Ki­rans and lately Hawks, are gear­ing up for man­u­fac­ture of, again, upto eight LCAs a year. The first three se­ries pro­duc­tion LCAs de­liv­ered to the IAF for its first squadron (No.45) have been de­liv­ered while SP-4 and SP-5 are cur­rently be­ing com­pleted, the first men­tioned slated to fly “shortly” while the lat­ter is now be­ing equipped at the erst­while Ki­ran fi­nal assem­bly hangar.

Or­ders for the first batch of 20 LCA Mk.Is are to be fol­lowed by a sec­ond tranche of 20 air­craft even as HAL’s ARDC are work­ing on de­vel­op­ment of the Mk.IA, 83 of which have been ap­proved for ac­qui­si­tion by the DAC.

Ex­pan­sion of Army Avi­a­tion Corps

Ac­cord­ing to au­thor­i­ta­tive sources, the In­dian Army’s Avi­a­tion Corps are likely to ac­quire three new types of he­li­copters, some in re­place­ment of the age­ing Chee­tahs and Chetaks in in­ven­tory as also aug­ment­ing of at­tack squadrons with new gen­er­a­tion Apache at­tack he­li­copters. Th­ese would be in ad­di­tion to the 22 Boe­ing AH-64 Apache mul­ti­role com­bat he­li­copters ear­lier or­dered for the In­dian Air Force.

The Kamov Ka-226T, to be co­pro­duced by HAL would be in ad­di­tion to the in­dige­nous Light Util­ity He­li­copter (LUH) and Light Com­bat He­li­copter (LCH) which are un­der de­vel­op­ment by HAL, with the In­dian Army as prime op­er­a­tor ( see ad­di­tional item in this Is­sue).

IAF Hawk AJTs reach 100,000 flight hours

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